When Archaeologists Unearthed This Aztec Temple, They Discovered Something Truly Horrifying

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Image: ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images
Image: ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images

Built by Spanish colonialists, Mexico City was actually constructed right on the ruins of the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. The whole city, including the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan, was destroyed by the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes during his conquest of the Aztec empire. As a result, beneath the modern city lies a rich treasure trove of archaeological remains.

Image: Carlos Martínez Blando

Various excavations have subsequently been conducted under the modern city, and an especially exciting find was announced in June 2017. The discovery was located in a side alley near the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, which was built by the Spanish and dates back to the 16th century.

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Image: United States Geological Survey
Image: United States Geological Survey

The site, just off Mexico City’s main square, the Zocalo, is actually under what was formerly a 1940s hotel. That building was destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1985, which killed at least 5,000 people. And after the destruction of the hotel, the owners spotted ancient remains and alerted the authorities.

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