An intensive cache of Aztec ritual choices discovered beneath downtown Mexico City, off the steps of what would have been the empire’s holiest shrine, gives new perception into pre-Hispanic spiritual rites and political propaganda.
Sealed in stone containers 5 centuries in the past on the foot of the temple, the contents of 1 field discovered within the actual centre of what was a ceremonial round stage has shattered information for the variety of sea choices from each the Pacific Ocean and off Mexico’s Gulf Coast, together with greater than 165 once-bright-red starfish and upwards of 180 full corral branches.
Archeologists imagine Aztec clergymen fastidiously layered these choices within the field throughout the elevated platform for a ceremony doubtless attended by hundreds of rapt spectators amid the thunderclap of drums.
“Pure imperial propaganda,” stated lead archeologist Leonardo Lopez Lujan when describing the doubtless spectacle.
In the identical field, archeologists beforehand discovered a sacrificed jaguar dressed like a warrior related to the Aztec patron Huitzilopochtli, the warfare and Solar God, earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic pressured a greater than two-year pause on excavations.
Beforehand unreported particulars embody final month’s discovery of a sacrificed eagle held within the clutches of the jaguar, together with miniature picket spears and a reed protect discovered subsequent to the west-facing feline, which had copper bells tied round its ankles.
The half-excavated rectangular field, courting to the reign of the Aztec’s biggest emperor Ahuitzotl who dominated from 1486 to 1502, now reveals a mysterious bulge within the center beneath the jaguar’s skeleton, indicating one thing strong beneath.
“No matter is beneath the jaguar is one thing enormously necessary,” stated Lopez Lujan.
“We’re anticipating an awesome discovery.”
Lopez Lujan, who heads excavations at what’s at the moment often called the Templo Mayor, thinks the field might comprise an urn holding the cremated stays of Ahuitzotl, the emperor whose army campaigns expanded the empire to modern-day Guatemala whereas linking Mexico’s Pacific and Gulf coasts. However he says not less than one other yr of digging is required to settle the query.