Reuters reported the discoveries were made on a nondescript side street just behind the city’s colonial-era Roman Catholic cathedral off the main Zocalo plaza on the grounds of a 1950s-era hotel.
The underground excavations reveal a section of what was the foundation of a massive, circular-shaped temple dedicated to the Aztec wind god Ehecatl and a smaller part of a ritual ball court, confirming accounts of the first Spanish chroniclers to visit the Aztec imperial capital, Tenochtitlan.
“Due to finds like these, we can show actual locations, the positioning and dimensions of each one of the structures first described in the chronicles,” said Diego Prieto, head of Mexico’s main anthropology and history institute.
Archaeologists also detailed a grisly offering of 32 severed male neck vertebrae discovered in a pile just off the court.
“It was an offering associated with the ball game, just off the stairway,” said archaeologist Raul Barrera. “The vertebrae, or necks, surely came from victims who were sacrificed or decapitated.”
Some of the original white stucco remains visible on parts of the temple, built during the 1486-1502 reign of Aztec Emperor Ahuizotl, predecessor of Moctezuma, who conquistador Hernan Cortes toppled during the Spanish conquest of Mexico.
Early Spanish accounts relate how a young Moctezuma played against an elderly allied king on the court and lost, which was taken as sign that the Aztec Empire’s days were numbered.
The building would have stood out because of its round shape among the several dozen other square temples that dominated the Aztecs’ most sacred ceremonial space before the 1521 conquest.
Aztec archaeologist Eduardo Matos said the top of the temple was likely built to resemble a coiled snake, with priests entering though a doorway made to look like a serpent’s nose.
Once excavations finish, a museum will be built on the site, rubbing shoulders with modern buildings in the capital.
Mexico City, including its many colonial-era structures with their own protections, was built above the razed ruins of the Aztec capital, and more discoveries are likely, Matos said.
“We’ve been working this area for nearly 40 years, and there’s always construction of some kind … and so we take advantage of that and get involved,” he said.
more recommended stories
This “Semana Santa” it’s only Mérida and Chichen anymore… tourists are all over the state!
The Secretariat of Tourism Development (Sefotur).
First femicide of the year registered in Maxcanú, Yucatán
The murder of Alejandra Uc Tun.
Iztapalapa hosts the largest Passion reenactment in the world each year
Passion Play of Iztapalapa is an annual.
Planet Hollywood Is coming to Cancun!
Following on the heels of its.
Discovery of painted hieroglyphic vase gives clues about breakdown of ancient Maya civilization
The discovery of an ancient painted.
Meet Dante, the first “xolo” policedog in Mexico.
Dante’s story begins in December 2017,.
Living my passion in Mérida with rent from $250 USD a month (International Living)
My typical day starts early, when.
Mexico says will restrict migrants to southern states
Mexico said Wednesday that central American.
Drunk people will be rigorously sanctioned in Progreso´s Malecon
Authorities are taking the necessary steps.
Body found floating in a cenote in Tixcacalcupul, Yucatán
TIXCACALCUPUL, YUCATÁN.- On Wednesday April 17.