Photo: archaeologists at Teotihuacan's Pyramid of the Sun Find First Offerings EVER Left at Pyramid
Tuesday, archaeologists from Mexico’s National Anthropology and History Institute (INAH) announced that they had found what they believe to be some of the earliest offerings at the site of Mexico’s tallest pyramid.
The artifacts discovered at the core of Teotihuacan’s Pyramid of the Sun are said to have been the first offerings made at the site, left at a sort of ground-breaking ceremony in A.D. 50.
In the 1930s, researchers dug a tunnel through the pyramid and using those same tunnels current experts dug a bit deeper, and reached the pyramid’s core and dug extensions.
Among other things, the modern archaeologists discovered a green stone mask said to be so “delicately carved and detailed” that they believe it may have been a portrait. Eleven clay pots were also found, along with the remains of several animals believed to have been sacrificed, including an eagle who had been fed rabbits just before it was sacrificed, and even the remains of an infant.
The Pyramid of the Sun stands about 200 feet high and 700 feet wide, and was built atop a tunnel-like cave some believe to be a portal to the underworld, though experts have long believed it served at a royal tomb.
The ruined city of Teotihuacan has some of the largest pyramids built in the pre-Columbian Americas, and include temples, palaces, apartment-style complexes, and is said to have once been home to 200,000 people. When discovered by the Aztecs around the year 1300, it had already been abandoned for year centuries. Researchers have only been able to speculate about the cause of the original inhabitants’ disappearance, but had suggested drought, famine, or warfare as possible causes.