Saturday, August 11, 2007

Aztec Royal Tomb

Last fall, archaeologists working near the Aztec Templo Mayor in Mexico City uncovered a huge carved stone monument with an image of Tlaltecuhtli, the earth god. Last week they scanned the area with ground-penetrating radar, which revealed several hollow chambers under the monolith. A date on the monument -- 10 rabbit -- corresponds to AD 1502, the date the emperor Ahuitzotl died. This could the tomb of Ahuitzotl, which would be a major find because no royal Aztec burials have been located previously.

You can listen to me talking about this on National Geographic News for August 10, 2007, on the NSG website (click on news for August 10; the interview starts about 7:30 into the show).

How is this relevant to Calixtlahuaca? Well, I was interviewed for an AP story about this by cell phone while supervising excavations high on the hill at Calixtlahuaca:

Also, it was Ahuitzotl's brother, the former emperor Axayacatl, who conquered Calixtlhahuaca for the Mexicca around 1475.

Now we have to wait for archaeologists to remove the huge (broken) monolith to see what is in the hollow chambers....