First Tomb of Aztec Ruler Found

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2007 6:45 AM CDT
A stone monolith carved with a representation of Tlaltechutli, the Aztec god of the earth, is seen in Mexico City, in this Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006, file photo. Mexican archaeologists, using ground-penetrating...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Mexican archaeologists believe their ground-penetrating radar has detected the first tomb of an Aztec ruler ever found, the AP reports. Workers in Mexico City, hanging from slings and digging delicately in a muddy underground passage, hope to uncover the remains of Emperor Ahuizotl, who ruled the Aztec empire at its height before the Spanish invasion of 1521.

What makes the dig difficult is that the tomb is filled with water and mud, but the pH-neutral water may have also helped preserve the tomb’s contents with a constant temperature. Archaeologists deduce that the chambers belong to Emperor Ahuizotl because of a monolith directly overhead that includes a rabbit and 10 dots, indicating the date “10 Rabbit,” or 1502, the year Ahuizot died.