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No Aztec Ruler's Tomb Has Been Found. That May Change

Reuters: Discoveries in Mexico City suggest archaeologists are close
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2019 8:13 AM CDT
Tourists visit the Templo Mayor archaeological site in Mexico City in this file photo. The Aztecs are believed to have cremated the remains of their leaders during their rule, but the final resting place...   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

(Newser) – For all the discoveries made about the Aztecs, archaeologists have never found the tomb of an Aztec ruler. Reuters reports that may be about to change. A dig in Mexico City at the site of an Aztec temple has yielded clues that suggest a royal burial site is near. "We have enormous expectations right now," says lead archeologist Leonardo Lopez Lujan. Researchers have found a large stone box containing, among other things, the bones of a boy and a jaguar, both apparently used as sacrificial offerings. Archaeologists also found a set of knives nearby, adorned with gems. The theory is that the box had been placed at the temple about 500 years ago during the burial of one of the Aztec rulers.

"You could have Ahuitzotl in that box," a Tulane expert tells Reuters, referring to one of three Aztec emperor brothers. Only about a tenth of the box's contents has been unearthed so far, and months of painstaking work lies ahead before anything definitive might be known. Ancient Origins has more on Ahuitzotl: He ruled from 1486 to 1502 during what historians consider the "Aztec Golden Age." His nephew Moctezuma II succeeded him, though Moctezuma's reign ended in 1521 with the Spanish conquest of Mexico. (Last year, a discovery about Aztec turquoise surprised historians.)

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