Mexico earthquake unearths ancient temple

The structure is believed to date back to around the year 1150

Agence France-Presse

7:56:56am July 12, 2018

7:56:56am July 12, 2018

AFTER EARTHQUAKE. View of the substructure inside the Teopanzolco pyramid in Cuernavaca, Morelos State, Mexico on July 11, 2018. Photo by Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP

AFTER EARTHQUAKE. View of the substructure inside the Teopanzolco pyramid in Cuernavaca, Morelos State, Mexico on July 11, 2018. Photo by Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP

CUERNAVACA, Mexico – A devastating earthquake that struck central Mexico last September gave way to a fascinating discovery: remnants of a rain god temple within an Aztec pyramid.

The temple, dedicated to a deity called Tlaloc and located within the Teopanzolco pyramid in Cuernavaca, Morelos state, belonged to the region's Tlahuica culture.

As a result of the earthquake, "the pyramid suffered considerable rearrangement of the core of its structure," said archaeologist Barbara Koniecza of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

The greatest damage was at the top, where two temples had already been discovered – one dedicated to the Mesoamerican god of the sun and war, Huitzilopochtli, and another to Tlaloc.

"The floor of both shrines sank and bent, which also put their stability in danger," Koniecza said.

When the INAH carried out studies with radar to examine the pyramid's structure, they found traces of the newly discovered Tlaloc temple.

The structure is believed to date back to around the year 1150. Experts say it would have been around 6 meters long and 4 meters wide. Ceramic remains and an incense burner belonging to the Tlahuica culture were also found.

Shortly after midday on September 19, 2017, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit central Mexico, killing 369 people, mostly in the capital Mexico City. – Rappler.com