Earthquakes are known for their destructive power, but a recent quake in Mexico had a surprisingly positive outcome for archaeologists - it revealed a hidden temple that had gone undetected for hundreds of years, concealed inside a pyramid.
To their surprise, the radar images and restoration work revealed the presence of long-lost twin temples - one dedicated to Tláloc, the supreme god of rain and Earthly fertility, and another dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, the god of war and Sun. "We have already detected two construction stages, and where we stand is considered to be built in the oldest phase before the second phase of the Templo Mayor", Ms Konieczna said.
On September 19, the area was struck by a 7.1 magnitude quake that killed more than 200 people and devastated the region's infrastructure.
Architectural characteristics, the location, and the ceramic materials found within enabled the archaeologists to date the temple to approximately 1150 AD.
A carbon 14 test will also be conducted to know with certainty the age of the newly-discovered temple.
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'There was no news, until now, of the existence of a substructure within the pyramidal structure, ' said INAH Director Isabel Campos Goenaga at a press conference. They also came across a collection of ceramics and an incense burner.
Approximately two meters below the level of the floor that now has the top of the pyramid, the team found located the vestiges of the substructure, and found it was architecturally very similar to the current temple, marked in red on the right. The Aztec-era pyramid was built sometime between 1200 and the Spanish conquest in 1521.
The Teopanzolco pyramid platform is in the city of Cuernavaca, just south of Mexico City. After an natural disaster took place on September 19, 2017, the pyramid was damaged and a substructure inside was revealed. The magnitude 7.1 quake on September 19 caused parts of the pyramid to sink or lean.
Architecturally, the newfound temple was very similar to the other temples in the pyramid, with stucco walls, a bench, a facade built from elongated stones and the remains of a pillar that likely once supported the temple's roof, according to the statement.
Fragments found inside the pyramid.