Archeologists have made a big find on the outskirts of Mexico City. After years of exploring through sealed tunnels at the pre-Columbian city of Teotihuacan, a team of Mexican archaeologists have found what’s believed to be tombs of the city’s most elite members.
Researchers finally reached the end of a 340-foot tunnel after excavating its entire length. The team catalogued seeds, pottery, animal bones and other relics along the way. Nearly 60 feet beneath the Temple of the Plumed Serpent, archaeologists uncovered a large offering at the entrance of a chamber.
"Because this is one of the most sacred places in all Teotihuacan, we believe that it could have been used for the rulers to ... acquire divine endowment allowing them to rule on the surface," said project leader Sergio Gomez.
An initial study of the site by the National Institute of Anthropology and History found the tunnel was closed off around A.D. 250. Gomez and his team have only been able to explore 2 feet of the chamber and estimates a full excavation will take one year. Large portions of Teotihuacan have yet to be examined by archaeologists.
Very little is known about the power structure of Teotihuacan, in part because no one has ever found the remains of any of the city’s leaders. It’s unknown if the right to rule was heredity or decided by some other means.
Teotihuacan dominated central Mexico from 100 B.C. and A.D. 750.The city itself was believed to have housed more than 100,000 people. However, the metropolis was abandoned before the 14th century, which was marked by the rise of the Aztec civilization.
It is still unknown why Teotihuacan was abandoned or why its society collapsed. One popular theory suggests the poorer class lead an uprising against the wealthy elite.
Image via The Huffington Post