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Jul. 4th, 2008 @ 12:50 pm Researchers open a secret cave under the Pyramid of the Sun
Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080703/sc_nm/mexico_pyramid_dc_1;_ylt=AsisVzkH3hDK4H.wJ8TcKtdFeQoB

Excerpt:

Archeologists are now revisiting a cave system that is buried 20 feet beneath the towering Pyramid of the Sun and extends into a tunnel stretching for some 295 feet (90 meters) with a height of 8 feet.

They say new excavations begun this month could be the key to unlocking information about the sacred rituals of the people who inhabited the city, later dubbed "The Place Where Men Become Gods" by the Aztecs who believed it was a divine site.

"We think it had a ritual purpose. Offerings were placed at the very end of the tunnel as part of the pyramid's construction process," Mexican archeologist Alejandro Sarabia told Reuters.

"We want to find out why the Teotihuacan people sealed it and when," he said.

Sarabia said the tunnel was first discovered in the early 1970s but it was closed soon afterward, and most of the information about it was lost when the archeologist who found it died.

Teotihuacan is Mexico's oldest major archeological site and during its heyday in 500 AD, the city was home to some 200,000 people, rivaling the size of ancient Rome at that time, according to archeologists.

Today, it is surrounded by encroaching slums spilling over from the outskirts of Mexico City, but swarms of tourists still visit the giant 212-foot (65-meter) sun pyramid each year to celebrate the spring equinox festival marking the sun's return to the northern hemisphere.

 
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caelum_rainieri:
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From:infrogmation
Date:July 4th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)

Teotihuacan caves

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Interesting.

But 1970s? I thought the cave system under the Pyramid of the Sun was first archaeolgically doccumented by Leopoldo Batres about 100 years ago, rediscovered when he was restoring it for the Mexican Centennial celebrations.

And how was "most of the information lost" about the further explorations in the 1970s when there were reports and maps published?

Maybe there's something strange about them that makes people forget. Maybe they... Uh, what was I talking about? :-)
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From:caelum_rainieri
Date:July 5th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)

Re: Teotihuacan caves

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There seems to be some question about what Batres actually discovered and didn't discover, but it's also possible that Sarabia mis-spoke. Either way, I think the tunnel and cave explorations will produce some really interesting finds.
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From:infrogmation
Date:July 5th, 2008 03:54 am (UTC)

Re: Teotihuacan caves

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Oh, it sounds very cool, and it would be great to add info about something, that given its location, was probably of great importance.

It's just one of my peeves how often I see things presented as totally new discoveries, or something that was completely forgotten, while it's actually something that people with a modest knowledge of the subject often already know about. I guess that's part of the hype to help get some additional attention.

Thanks for the interesting link!