Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/15/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Among the remarkable finds is a mask carved to resemble a human face

Archaeologists in Mexico say they have found a ceremonial offering at the Pyramid of the Sun that may have been used nearly 2,000 years ago to consecrate the structure before its construction.

As reported in the Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute, the offering consisted of pieces of obsidian, animal remains and three human figures made of a jade-like material. One of them resembles a mask delicately carved from a single piece.

As reported in the Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute, the offering consisted of pieces of obsidian, animal remains and three human figures made of a jade-like material. One of them resembles a mask delicately carved from a single piece.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/15/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Pyramid of the Sun, Mexico, offerings, mask


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As reported in the Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute, the offering consisted of pieces of obsidian, animal remains and three human figures made of a jade-like material. One of them resembles a mask delicately carved from a single piece.

One of the objects may be the offering placed during the first 50 years of our era, to consecrate the beginning of the construction of the greatest monument of Teotihuacan.

The tallest of the group of pyramids, the Pyramid of the Sun helps comprise the massive, ancient city of Teotihuacan, north of Mexico City.

One of the archaeologists involved in the project, Enrique Perez Cortes said that judging by the depth at which the offering was located, and "we know that it was deposited as part of a consecration ceremony for the construction of the Pyramid of the Sun, probably at the beginning, more than 1,900 years ago."

Using the 116-meters long tunnel excavated in the 1930's decade by archaeologist Eduardo Noguera, the Pyramid of the Sun Project excavated 59 stratigraphic wells and three short tunnels to reach the mother-rock level and verify the presence of burials and offerings.

"We knew that if Teotihuacan people would have placed something inside the monument it would have been done at the tepetate level, so we made a probing well at the end of the tunnel and a short conduct to reach the center of the pyramid, since Noguera tunnel was carved approximately 6 meters to the west of the center of the monument," Perez Cortes says.

Among the explorations, architectural structures constructed before the Pyramid of the Sun, as well as seven human burials, some of them infants who were buried before the construction of the building.

The mask was discovered inside the constructive filling of the tunnel, "so we know it was deposited as part of a consecration ceremony of the structure, probably at the beginning of its construction more than 1900 years ago," Perez Cortes, researcher at Zacatecas INAH Center says.

Objects that integrate the offering "were elaborated with different materials and techniques; a considerable amount of obsidian pieces outstand, such as projectile heads, small knives, an anthropomorphic eccentric artifact and three anthropomorphic figures adorned with shell and pyrite eyes, also accompanied by projectile heads."

The anthropomorphic mask carved out in one piece, with eyes inlayed in pyrite and shell is the only greenstone mask discovered until now in the ritual context of Teotihuacan, Perez Cortes says.

The mask is different to other Teotihuacan masks because it presents smaller dimensions and has volume. It is likely that it was a portrait. A seashell was found next to the sculpture.

The offering also contained 11 Tlaloc vessels, most of them fragmented, and placed in the center of it. Other objects deposited include three pyrite discs, being the one with 45 centimeters diameter mounted on a slate slab the greatest recovered until now in Teotihuacan.

A substantial amount of animal skeletons was found. The skull of a feline was placed to the northeast, a canine to the south, and an eagle covered with volcanic rock, to the southeast. An analysis revealed that he bird was fed before the sacrifice with two rabbits. This kind of fauna is similar to the one found at offerings of the Pyramid of Moon.

"Nevertheless, objects found would be indicating that the Pyramid of the Sun, which covers an approximate area of 5.6 hectares, was possibly offered to a rain deity, an early version of Tlaloc, during the first 50 years of the Common Era.

"Until now, we can only offer a general interpretation of the findings, although it is evident that some of them present the same distribution pattern already observed at the Pyramid of the Moon burials," the specialists concluded.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More Americas

Infamous leader of Knights Templar drug cartel arrested Watch

Image of Servando Gomez, the leader of the Knights Templar drug cartel, was arrested by Mexican authorities. This will deal a critical blow to the deadly group.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A major blow has been dealt to the infamous Knights Templar drug cartel, after Mexican federal police arrested Servando Gomez, the leader of the group, on February 27. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Knights Templar have been operating out of the ... continue reading


SNOW FUN: Eastern Canada inundated by heavy snowfall (PICTURES) Watch

Image of Snow has hammered eastern Canada is some of the heaviest snowfall in years.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Many residents in eastern Canada have resigned themselves to sitting out this winter. Massive snowfalls have left many prisoners in their homes, snow past windowsills, reaching up to roofs in many parts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Twice as deadly: Virulent strain of AIDS now plaguing Cuba Watch

Image of A new strain of HIV in Cuba that progresses to AIDS twice as fast has many medical officials worried. Those who contract this form of HIV are left with a much shorter window in which they can seek treatment.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new strain of HIV in Cuba that progresses to AIDS twice as fast has many medical officials worried. Those who contract this form of HIV are left with a much shorter window in which they can seek treatment. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A deadly mix of ... continue reading


VIDEO: Snow doesn't stop Canadian super train in a spectacular video Watch

Image of The track, being completely covered with high snow, the windscreen at the front of the train likewise is also all blocked up. At this point, you'd be hard pressed to guess there was a train approaching.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A spectacular video is making the rounds, and it's just another case of a not-so-little engine that could. A Canadian freight train doesn't shy away from a massive snow bank - and plows straight through it, spreading snow all over the place in a mini-avalanche. ... continue reading


South American nation of Ecuador becomes first nation to back digital cash Watch

Image of Once the government flips the switch, the South American nation of 16 million will host the first-ever state-run electronic payment system.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

The South American nation of Ecuador ditched its stumbling currency for the U.S. dollar back in 2000. Fifteen years later, Ecuador is revamping its monetary system again, this time using digital currencies. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Ecuador's Sistema de ... continue reading


Is the Cold War over? Congress pushes for end of restrictions on travel with Cuba Watch

Image of President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro have been working together to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama's inroads into warming relations between the United States and Cuba is being supported by a bipartisan group of Senators, who on Thursday unveiled a bill that would end travel restrictions for Americans who wish to visit Cuba. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Castro making demands: Won't budge an inch on Cuban sovereignty in opening relations to U.S. Watch

Image of

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Cuban President Raul Castro, brother of longtime dictator Fidel Castro appears to welcome normalizing U.S. relations. His compatriots wish to end the isolation that was visited upon the Caribbean nation since the communists took over in the 1950s. However - ... continue reading


IT'S MINE! Traders, tycoons and miners all vying for possession of Brazil's 180,000-carat Bahia Emerald Watch

Image of For the time being, the gem is now held in an undisclosed Sheriff's Department location.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ever since human eyes laid upon it in 2001, Brazil's Bahia Emerald has been caught in an ongoing tug of war between those who say the gem is rightfully theirs. Landing in an L.A. County sheriff's locker, the 180,000-carat, 840-pound behemoth has been the ... continue reading


THE RISE OF WOMEN: Negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba begin with two influential women leading the way Watch

Image of Jacobson and Vidal cover everything from human rights to tourist travels during the beginning of negotiations between Cuba and the U.S.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama recently loosened the embargo the United States has with Cuba. Now the next step is to negotiate and work towards less hostility and normalizing the relationship between the two countries. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At the base of these ... continue reading


Murderous gang violence plagues El Salvador every day with no end in sight, ambitious new plan offers hope Watch

Image of Gangs run the streets in El Salvador, often leaving people terrified to be out at night.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

412 people were murdered in El Salvador during December 2014. A total of 3,942 murders occurred last year in what is now the most dangerous country in the world. A 57 percent increase than those killed in 2013. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Violent gangs have ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
10 Hear what Yahweh says, you rulers of Sodom; listen ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
8 'It is not with your sacrifices that I find fault, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 23:1-12
1 Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 3rd, 2015 Image

St. Katharine Drexel
March 3: Saint Katharine Drexel, Religious (Feast Day-March 3) Born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter