June 25, 2022
INAH has uncovered 2,500 wooden objects at the foot of the Templo Mayor in Mexico City. INAH says they have found masks, headdresses, sceptres, pectorals, darts, figurines, dart launchers, earrings, jars, and numerous wooden offerings that the priests deposited to consecrate the site to the Aztec gods. The finds were stabilised using synthetic sugars (lactitol and, later, trehalose) which prevents the breakdown of the wood by microorganisms and fluctuations in relative humidity.
The objects have survived due to the anaerobic conditions in the soil and the high level of humidity that has persevered them for more than 500 years. The researchers applied modern methods of conservation in which the finds were stabilised using synthetic sugars (lactitol and, later, trehalose) which prevents the breakdown of the wood by microorganisms and fluctuations in relative humidity.
The finds are then rinsed in water and placed inside a heat chamber with temperatures of 50°C. This slowly dries the wood and allows the controlled crystallisation of sugars that generates a thickening of the cell walls at a microscopic level.
Many of the objects have traces of colours such as blue, red, black, and white pigment on the surface.
Excavations of the ritual deposits have also uncovered botanical remains such as flowers, birds, mammals and marine animals, sea cucumbers, copper and gold objects, and flint and ceramic pieces.
Heritage Daily has the report here;