Archaeologists have discovered a significant offering of 15 green stone sculptures at the former Great Temple of the Aztecs in Mexico City. Earrings, stone beads, shells, snails, coral and sea sand were also found in a stone container, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said on Friday (local time). The manager of the excavation project, Leonardo López Luján, spoke of an archaeological "super find".
The so-called Offering 186, which lay under the platform on the back facade of the Templo Mayor, dates from the time of the ruler Moctezuma I (1440-1469). The sculptures are probably much older, the INAH said.
The team led by archaeologist López Luján found a total of 14 male sculptures measuring up to 30 centimeters and one female figure measuring three centimeters. More than 1900 sea objects and 137 green stone beads were also found.
Today's mega-metropolis Mexico City was once the capital of the Aztec empire Tenochtitlan (1325-1521). The main temple was the religious center of Tenochtitlan - a city which, with 200,000 inhabitants, was one of the largest in the world at the time. The temple was expanded in several stages until it was destroyed by the Spanish conquerors.
Under the platform's monumental snake heads, the researchers had already found other offerings during excavations. The work is now to be expanded.