September 29, 2021
An Update on the Tunnel Underneath the Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent at Teotihuacan
100,000 artifacts have been uncovered from a tunnel beneath the Temple of the Plumed Serpent at Teotihuacan. Archaeologist Sergio Gomez has found statues, jewelry, shells, ceramics, wooden and metallic objects
Over 100,000 artifacts from the tunnel have been cataloged so far, ranging from finely-carved statues, jewelry, shells, and ceramics as well as thousands of wooden and metallic objects that mostly survived the passage of time intact. Gomez and his large team continues to work in the 330 feet tunnel, which ends in three chambers which end at the mid-point of the pyramid above.
Recently, they found a tennis ball sized amber sphere with a residue that may be tobacco. It could have been a necklace for a priest. Priests took hallucinogenic plants and mushrooms before they entered the tunnel. The walls and floors were coated with iron pyrite. The tunnel could have been built to re-create the underworld to initiate new rulers. The tunnel was used from 50 CE-250 CE.
Gomez found 17 layers of shells laid down by priests. Bits of human hair and skin have been uncovered. The tunnel is filled with gifts to the lords of the underworld and to the Storm God. Several dozen black jars sculpted to resemble the Storm God have recently been found. Thousands of pieces of iron pyrite imported from as far away as Honduras, imperial jade
Among the offerings are hundreds of objects made of so-called imperial jade, one of the world’s most expensive gems, including ear spools, necklaces and pendants – one in the form of a crocodile 8,000 wooden objects – plates, bowls and more – were unearthed, as well as the skulls and claws of some three dozen animal species, especially predators like jaguars and pumas.
Gomez’s team is developing three-dimensional digital recreations of the artifacts as they originally would have appeared, so they can eventually be accessed online.
In late July, they found a circular pit, where priests had tossed four bunches of flowers. On top, they placed a heap of wood, handfuls of corn, chile, and nopal seeds, plus a miniature stone carved pyramid.
Finally, they set it all on fire.
Thanks to the charred wood, Gomez will soon be able to pinpoint the year the smoky ritual took place.
The flowers were unprecedented, the first time intact plant remains have been found at Teotihuacan.