MEXICO CITY – Mexican archaeologists have discovered a tunnel beneath the Plaza of the Moon at the Teotihuacan archaeological site, apparently symbolizing the underworld, the National Anthropology and History Institute (INAH) said.
A team of INAH specialists, working with National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) personnel, conducted a study to confirm the existence and depth of a tunnel believed to run from the center of the Plaza of the Moon to the Pyramid of the Moon.
Veronica Ortega, director of the Plaza of the Moon Integrated Conservation Project, said the discovery confirmed that Teotihuacan’s residents followed the same pattern of building tunnels as at other sites.
Tests performed in early June indicate that the straight tunnel is at a depth of 10 meters (about 33 feet), INAH Archaeological Research Administration geophysicist Denisse Argote Espino said, adding that the final test results would be available in the next few months.
The initial results show that the Pyramid of the Moon, like the Pyramid of the Sun and the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, may have a tunnel running under it, the INAH said.
Archaeologist Jorge Acosta found the tunnel under the Pyramid of the Sun in the 1970s.
Once the existence of the tunnel under the Plaza of the Moon is confirmed, archaeologists plan to explore it, Ortega, an expert on Mesoamerican civilizations, said.
Archaeologists will be able to use the study to determine whether there are other tunnels around the Pyramid of the Moon, Ortega said.
Teotihuacan, located some 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) north of Mexico City, is a World Heritage Site.
Teotihuacan’s major monuments are believed to have been built around A.D. 200. After that, the city flourished for 400 years, until a sudden collapse in the middle of the 7th century.
The Avenue of the Dead, the long and wide road that connects La Ciudadela with the Pyramid of the Moon, was at the center of Teotihuacan.
Teotihuacan is also the home of the Pyramid of the Sun, the third-largest pyramid in the world.
The site is a popular tourist attraction and thousands of Mexican and foreign practitioners of New Age spirituality have taken to visiting Teotihuacan during the spring equinox in recent years to “recharge their energy.”