Tags: pyramid | liquid | mercury | find

Pyramid's Liquid Mercury Find Suggests a Royal Tomb Nearby

By    |   Monday, 27 Apr 2015 07:34 AM

Liquid mercury found in a tunnel beneath an Aztec pyramid in Mexico could lead to an undiscovered royal tomb that has been sealed for nearly 1,800 years, according to an archaeologist.

Sergio Gomez told Reuters he had stumbled upon "large qualities" of the mercury in a chamber at the end of a tunnel below Teotihuacan's Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent, about 30 miles northeast of Mexico City.

"It's something that completely surprised us," said Gomez, adding that the metal could have been used to symbolize an underworld river or lake.

Annabeth Headreck, a professor at the University of Denver and the author of works on Teotihuacan and Mesoamerican art, agreed with Gomez, reported The Guardian, adding that mercury, though toxic, would have given shimmering, reflexing qualities that could have resembled "an underworld river, not that different from the river Styx."

"Mirrors were considered a way to look into the supernatural world, they were a way to divine what might happen in the future," said Headreck. "It could be a sort of river, albeit a pretty spectacular one."

Rosemary Joyce, a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, said the liquid mercury could have held been regarded as "somewhat magical … there for ritual purposes or symbolic purposes."

Gomez and Julie Gazzola first discovered the tunnel under the pyramid in late 2003, according to Art Daily.com. The excavation of the tunnel has taken additional time for planning, research and fundraising. More than 30 people have join in the research team as advisors, noted the website.

Newsweek said the research team found three chambers at the end of the tunnel in November 2014 and they had not been touched in nearly two centuries.

Teotihuacan, called the "Abode of the Gods" in its ancient language Nahuatl, was the hub of an empire with about 200,000 people who live there between 100 and 700 A.D., noted Newsweek. Why residents left the city remains a mystery but much of the city remains largely intact.

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Liquid mercury found in a tunnel beneath an Aztec pyramid in Mexico could lead to an undiscovered royal tomb that has been sealed for nearly 1,800 years, according to an archaeologist.
pyramid, liquid, mercury, find
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2015-34-27
Monday, 27 Apr 2015 07:34 AM
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