Robot Probes Mexican Ruins

Archeologists send scout into Teotihuacan tunnel
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2010 4:13 AM CST
The mysterious tunnel was found by archaeologists in Teotihuacan, Mexico, earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)
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(Newser) – The robot equivalent of Indiana Jones has given archeologists the all-clear to investigate a long-hidden tunnel under the ruins of Teotihuacan, Mexico. The remote-controlled robot—named Tlaloque after the Aztec rain god—was sent through the recently discovered 2,000-year-old tunnel under the temple of Quetzacoatl to determine whether it was stable enough for researchers to enter, AP reports. The use of a robot is believed to be a first for archeologists anywhere in the Americas.

Footage shot by the robot shows a narrow space that was left after the tunnel was sealed off with debris sometime around the year 200 AD. Archeologists hope to clear the debris and enter the tunnel by the end of this month. No depiction of a monarch has ever been found at the ancient site, but researchers believe the tunnel leads to chambers holding tombs of the city's early rulers. The city was abandoned by the time the Aztecs arrived in the area in the 1300s and named it "Teotihuacan," meaning "the place where men become gods."

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