Researchers find three new chambers at the end of the tunnel discovered in 2013
Archaeologists have uncovered thousands of relics and three new chambers during the excavation of a tunnel at the ancient city of Teotihuacán, located near Mexico City.
Exploration of the 340-foot tunnel, which was sealed off some 2,000 years ago, has been under way for the past year. Researchers recently reached the end of it after discovering two other chambers and collecting large numbers of relics, from seeds to pottery to animal bones.
The excavation so far has extended only 60 centimeters into the new chambers, which could yield many more important discoveries, archaeologists said on Wednesday. Leader of the project, Sergio Gómez, described the area as one of the most sacred of Teotihuacán, and hopes to find remains of its rulers, none of which have ever been found.
“We have not lost hope of finding that, and if they are there, they must be from someone very, very important,” Gómez said. Studies by the National Institute of Anthropology and History indicate the tunnel was closed off about 250 AD.
During its prime, between 100 BC and 750 AD, Teotihuacán is believed to have been the home of more than 100,000 people and possibly the most powerful city in North America.
Today, it is a popular tourist destination for its huge pyramids.
Little is known about its inhabitants for they had no system of writing. The tunnel was discovered in 2003, uncovered by a heavy rain storm, and Gómez and his team have worked since then at digging it out.
Also among the discoveries were pyrite mirrors and strange crystal spheres, a wooden box containing seashells and carved with stone tools, jade statues, rubber balls and jaguar remains.
Gómez is optimistic that a body will be found beneath the floors of the chambers, which will take another year to excavate.
Source: Scientific American, AP