After spending years gradually making their way down a 103 meter (340 foot) long tunnel, a team of Mexican archeologists have gathered some 50,000 relics inside the ancient city of Teotihuacan. The remains, which could offer new insight into the impressive city, have been untouched for almost 2,000 years because the opening was sealed around A.D. 250.
The pre-Columbian city of Teotihuacan is located around 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of Mexico City. It was built between the first and seventh centuries A.D., and comprises an awe-inspiring spread of temples that are laid out on geometric and symbolic principles. The city’s most impressive building is undoubtedly the Pyramid of the Sun, which is the third largest pyramid in the world. It was reconstructed by archeologists some time ago, but it’s believed they made a mistake and rebuilt this particular structure with the wrong number of levels. Whoops.
The new discoveries were made when project leader Sergio Gomez and his team worked their way down a previously closed off tunnel that was discovered back in 2003. They dug out piles of dirt and rocks using remote-controlled robots, unearthing a trove of goodies on the way.
The ancient artifacts discovered include shells, animal bones, jewelry, pottery and seeds. They were located around 18 meters (60 feet) below a building called the Temple of the Plumed Serpent, which is the third largest pyramid at the site.
They also came across offerings left outside three previously undiscovered chambers, which could suggest that the city’s elite may be buried inside. No remains of Teotihuacan’s leaders have been discovered so far, and inhabitants never left any written records, so finding them could finally provide archeologists with important information on how the city was ruled. But they’ll need to do a lot more digging before they find out, because so far they’ve only got 60 centimeters inside the chambers.
“We have not lost hope of finding that, and if they are there, they must be from someone very, very important,” said Gomez.