Hundreds of strange metallic spheres found in ancient Mexican temple
By Rossella Lorenzi | Discovery News
Hundreds of mysterious spheres lie beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, an ancient six-level step pyramid just 30 miles from Mexico City.
The enigmatic spheres were found during an archaeological dig using a camera-equipped robot at one of the most important buildings in the pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan.
"They look like yellow spheres, but we do not know their meaning. It’s an unprecedented discovery," said Jorge Zavala, an archaeologist at Mexico’s National Anthropology and History Institute.
The Mesoamerican ruins of Teotihuacan, a World Heritage Site, represent one of the largest urban centers of the ancient world. Thought to have been established around 100 B.C., the pyramid-filled city had more than 100,000 inhabitants at its peak, but was abandoned for mysterious reasons around 700 A.D. -- long before the Aztecs arrived in the 1300s.
The excavation at the temple focused on a 330-foot-long tunnel which runs under the structure. The conduit was discovered in 2003 when heavy rain uncovered a hole a few feet from the pyramid.
The excavation focused on a 330-foot-long tunnel which runs under the structure. The conduit was discovered in 2003 when heavy rain uncovered a hole a few feet from the temple.
Exploring the tunnel, which was deliberately filled with debris and ruins by the Teotihuacan people, required several years of preliminary work and planning.
"Finally, a few months ago we found two side chambers at 72 and 74 meters (236 and 242 feet) from the entrance. We called them North Chamber and South Chamber,” archaeologist Sergio Gómez Chávez, director of the Tlalocan Project, told Discovery News.
The archaeologists explored the tunnel with a remote-controlled robot called Tlaloc II-TC, which has an infrared camera and a laser scanner that generates 3D visualization of the spaces beneath the temple.
"The robot was able to enter in the part of the tunnel which has not yet been excavated yet and found three chambers between 100 and 110 meters (328 and 360 feet) from the entrance," Gómez Chávez said.
The mysterious spheres lay in both the north and south chambers. Ranging from 1.5 to 5 inches, the objects have a core of clay and are covered with a yellow material called jarosite.
"This material is formed by the oxidation of pyrite, which is a metallic ore," Gómez Chávez said. "It means that in pre-hispanic times they appeared as if they were metallic spheres. There are hundreds of these in the south chamber."
According to archaeologists, the spheres would have appeared metallic to those who placed them here.
According to George Cowgill, professor emeritus at Arizona State University and the author of several publications on Teotihuacan, the spheres are a fascinating find.
"Pyrite was certainly used by the Teotihuacanos and other ancient Mesoamerican societies," Cowgill told Discovery News. "Originally the spheres would have shown brilliantly. They are indeed unique, but I have no idea what they mean."
Read the full article at: discovery.com
Read: Mini-robot finds surprise in Mexico’s ancient Temple of Quetzalcoatl
Latest News from our Front Page
Pressure from the United Patriots Front Stops Mosque Plan
Pressure from the United Patriots Front appears to have killed off a mosque development in Narre Warren North.
The City of Casey council now looks likely to withhold planning approval for the development in a special meeting set for Tuesday night.
A council report, to be considered by councillors on Tuesday, recommends that the approval be blocked.
The mosque opponents’ cause has been helped by councillor ...
Police face questions over the influence of the Freemasons
South Yorkshire Police today face questions over whether powerful 'secret society' the Freemasons held sway over the force at the time of Hillsborough.
Families of victims say that officers who were Masons were promoted into powerful positions despite being ill-equipped, including match commander David Duckenfield.
Duckenfield told the fresh inquests he had been a Freemason since 1975 and became head of his ...
England Bans its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims
St. George's Cross "racist" towards immigrants
Government officials said their city was ‘too multicultural’ to celebrate St George’s Day, England’s version of the 4th of July.
The council said that displaying the English flag may have been seen as “racist” towards immigrants.
Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’
Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown.
The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent.
He was part of a new order which emerged in ...
"Local Residents" Are Filmed Stealing Dozens of Bottles of Water at London Marathon Stop
Editor's Comment: "Local" residents? Why bother blurring their faces? We know who they are.
London marathon runners were robbed of dozens of bottled waters when thieves raided a refreshment area armed with trolleys during today's race.
Nearby residents - including parents with children - were captured on camera piling up crates of free water handed out by volunteers during the 26-mile event.
|More News » |