A spectacular new discovery from an ongoing excavation at the Teotihuacans Pyramid of the Moon is revealing a grisly sacrificial burial from a period when the ancient metropolis was at its peak, with artwork unlike any seen before in Mesoamerica.
Partially uncovered figurine, carved in jade, found in connection with three unbound, seated bodies and other objects at the top of the pyramids fifth stage (the offering was presumably made in the construction of the sixth stage), circa 350 AD. This object is notable in that it is carved from jade that originated in Guatemala, and appears to be Mayan in style. Other jade objects on top of the figurine are beads and earspools.
Though archaeologists hope that discoveries at the pyramid will answer lingering questions about the distinctive culture that built the great city, the new find deepens the mystery, with clear cultural connections to other burials found at the site, but with some markedly new elements.
With the excavation of the pyramid nearly complete, one important conclusion is emerging: combined with past burials at the site, the new find strongly suggests that the Pyramid of the Moon was significant to the Teotihuacano people as a site for celebrating state power through ceremony and sacrifice. Contrary to some past interpretation, militarism was apparently central to the citys culture.
James Hathaway | EurekAlert!
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