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Possible Aztec Shrine Commemorating Creation Found

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Aztec temple pondMEXICO CITY, MEXICO—International Business Times reports that National Institute of Anthropology and History archaeologists have identified a possible Aztec stone shrine in a pond near the dormant Iztaccihuatl volcano, at an elevation of almost 13,000 feet. They say the tetzacualco, or sanctuary, may have been built to depict the Aztec universe. The stones are said to appear to float on the surface of the water, recalling a Mesoamerican creation myth featuring Cipactli, the monster of the earth. In the story, the sky and the earth were made from Cipactli’s body, which floated on primitive waters. Archaeologist Iris del Rocio Hernandez Bautista explained that the flow of water to the pond could have been controlled through nearby springs in order to control its visual effects. Excavation of the site has revealed that a rectangular-shaped temple made of stacked stones once stood around the main part of the pond. Artifacts associated with the rain god Tlaloc, including ceramic tripod bowls, blades, and pieces of gray and pink shale, were found near springs located to the southeast of the main pond. For more, go to “Aztec Warrior Wolf,” which was one of ARCHAEOLOGY's Top 10 Discoveries of 2017.

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