archaeology
subscribe
Special Introductory Offer!

Pre-Columbian Ritual Steam Bath Discovered in Mexico City

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Mexico TemazcaltitlanMEXICO CITY, MEXICO—BBC News reports that archaeologists from Mexico’s Directorate of Archaeological Rescue and National Institute of Anthropology and History uncovered a fourteenth-century temazcal, or ritual steam bath, measuring about 16 feet long by nine feet wide. The discovery of the temazcal, which had been marked on historic maps, has allowed the researchers to pinpoint the location of Temazcaltitlán, one of the oldest neighborhoods of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital. This area of the city was known as a place where female deities such as Tlazolteotl, the goddess of childbirth and purification, and Coatlicue, Toci, Chalchiuhtlicue, and Mayahuel, who are linked to land, fertility, water, and the fermented beverage pulque, were venerated. A house thought to have been inhabited by Mexica nobility shortly after the Spanish conquest, and a tannery built in the eighteenth century, were also found on the site. For more on Tenochtitlan, go to "Under Mexico City."

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement