Massive Aztec Snake Head Unearthed in Mexico City after 7.6 Magnitude Earthquake – Archaeological Discovery
Discovering Ancient Artifacts in Mexico City
Unearthing artifacts from the past is often a meticulous process that can take years of excavation. However, sometimes natural events like earthquakes can assist in this endeavor. A recent magnitude 7.6 earthquake that occurred off the west coast of Mexico caused significant damage to several buildings, including a law school in Mexico City.
The head of a giant Aztec snake appeared on the surface in Mexico City after the earthquake ScienceAlert (@ScienceAlert)
During the repair and recovery efforts at the damaged law school, archaeologists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) made an incredible discovery. They found a massive stone sculpture of a snake’s head buried beneath the building’s foundation. This artifact dates back more than 500 years to the Aztec era and is estimated to weigh around 1.2 tons.
The stone snake head was found approximately 4.5 meters underground in the ancient city of Tenochtitlan. Thanks to the collaboration between the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the Templo Mayor Museum, experts are diligently working to study and preserve this remarkable find. Remarkably, 80% of the sculpture’s original colored surface remains intact.
The stone sculpture exhibits vibrant colors of red, blue, black, and white. To protect these colors, the researchers have placed the artifact in a humid room. Preservation efforts will continue until 2024.
This snake head is believed to have originated from the end of the Aztec Empire, during the flourishing period of the city-state of Tenochtitlan. Snakes held great significance in Aztec art, particularly due to deities like Quetzalcoatl, who were associated with serpents.
The durability of stone sculptures and inscriptions offers a valuable glimpse into the past. These artworks can endure for thousands of years, surpassing the longevity of writings on parchment or paper.