Natural disaster reveals 1,000-year-old Aztec temple

A devastating natural disaster that struck central Mexico last September gave way to a fascinating discovery: Remnants of a rain god temple within an Aztec pyramid.

The foundations of the pyramid were discovered at the Teopanzolco archaeological site in the state of Morelos during restoration work to fix quake damage.

The quake on September 19, 2017 which caused serious damage to the historical site of Teopanzolco, revealed a temple that dates back to 1150, archaeologists said. Due to modern growth, the site lies within the city of Cuernavaca today. The archaeologist said that the temple inspired the construction of the Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City.

"The internal temple that we found in that sense is the oldest at the pyramid of Teopanzolco". Isabel Campos Goenaga, the director of the INAH Center in Morelos, said in a press conference Wednesday that the Teopanzolco pyramid was greatly affected by the quake.

In working to find firm terrain, Ms Konieczna and her fellow archaeologists discovered the hidden temple. "It is possible that on the right side are the remains of another temple dedicated to Huitzilopochtli", Koniecza said.

Pre-Hispanic cultures often built one temple over another.

The Aztec temple is dedicated to Tlaloc, an Aztec rain god.

Approximately two meters below the level of the floor that now has the top of the pyramid, the team found located the vestiges of the substructure, and found it was architecturally very similar to the current temple, marked in red on the right.

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

The Aztec-era pyramid was built sometime between 1200 and the Spanish conquest in 1521.

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

Fragments found inside the pyramid.

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