A Pre-Hispanic god of wind will no doubt have been blowing his top for the past several decades, after a supermarket was constructed on top of an ancient temple built in his honor in the Tlatelolca neighborhood of what is now Mexico City. Having stood in place since the middle of the 20th century, the store has now been dismantled, allowing archaeologists to discover the 650-year-old relic sitting 3 meters (10 feet) beneath it.
Built by the Mexica-Tlatelolca people, the temple sits in the south-eastern quadrant of what was once a ceremonial complex, and bears a number of similarities with another structure attributed to the wind god Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl, located at the entrance to the complex.
Both temples feature circular walls that extend round their northern, western and southern sides, before giving way to a rectangular platform along the eastern edge. They are also sprinkled with numerous offerings, including human skeletons, cactus spines, bird bones and ceramic models of monkeys.
Measuring 11 meters (36 feet) in diameter and 1.2 meters (4 feet) in height, the newly discovered structure contains eight full human skeletons, six of which belonged to children, as well as a further seven partial skeletons.
According to the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History, which carried out the excavations, the temple was constructed in several phases, the first of which occurred prior to the establishment of the city-state of Tlatelolca in 1337 CE. Subsequent layers were then added between 1376 and 1417, with a final stage of development occurring around 1427.
The temple was first discovered in 2014, after the demolition of the El Sardinero supermarket, and excavation work was completed in March 2016.
With most of the original stucco still intact, officials are planning to preserve the temple and cover it with a glass plane so that members of the public can view it as they visit the shopping mall that is currently being built just a stone’s throw away.