Mexico quake unearths ancient temple

Archaeologists searched the site after it was rocked by an earthquake in September last year

"Despite the damage the quake caused we have to be thankful that because of this natural phenomenon, this important structure appeared that changes the dating of the archaeological site", Campos said.

Archaeologists say damage to a pre-Hispanic pyramid in central Mexico from the September 19 natural disaster has revealed an older structure that was covered by later building. "What we found could correspond to Teopanzolco's oldest temple, but more studies are needed to see if it is associated with an early phase of the Middle Postclassic period (1150-1200 AD), which would make it contemporary with the first construction phase of the Pyramid of Tenayuca, in the State of Mexico", concluded archaeologist Georgia Bravo Lopez.

A team works on the newly revealed substructure Wednesday.

Parts of the undiscovered temple at the base of an ancient pyramid has been excavated after quake damage exposed the 900-year-old structure.

The discovery could shed new light on the Tlahuica civilisation, according to experts.

The temples were found within the Teopanzolco pyramid in Morelos state, near the modern city of Cuernavaca, Mexico. The archaeologist said that the temple inspired the construction of the Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City.

The structure, which is dedicated to the rain god Tlaloc, was found by scientists with Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History using radar technology.

The archaeologists also recovered ceramic artifacts and a censer featuring Tlahuica motifs as well as a significant amount of charcoal that could have been left over from either rituals carried out at the temple or from a disaster.

"There was no news, until now, of the existence of a substructure within the pyramidal structure", said INAH Director Isabel Campos Goenaga at a press conference.

Koniecza added: "The floor of both shrines sank and bent, which also put their stability in danger". "It is possible that on the right side are the remains of another temple dedicated to Huitzilopochtli", Koniecza said.

View of the substructure inside the Teopanzolco pyramid in Cuernavaca, Morelos State, Mexico on July 11.

The magnitude 7.1 quake on September 19 caused parts of the pyramid to sink or lean.

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