The Pyramid of the Moon could have served as the starting point for the urban layout of the sacred city of Teotihuacan, more than 1,700 years ago.
Teotihuacan is the place where the gods were created, according to the worldview of the civilization that dominated the State of Mexico, in central Mexico. With 45 meters in height, and 140 by 150 meters in base, the Pyramid of the Moon was the starting point from which the Teotihuacanos erected their sacred capital.
Only the Pyramid of the Sun is bigger than this building, documents Mexican Archeology. However, based on geophysical evidence, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) of Mexico corroborated that under the Pyramid of the Moon there is an artificial cave and secret passages. This is what we know about it.
What is inside the Pyramid of the Moon?
Since 1987, the sacred city of Teotihuacan has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, “[…] it was one of the most important cultural and artistic centers of Mesoamerica and its influence far exceeded the confines of the surrounding region”, as described by the institution.
Proof of the extensive urban and engineering development achieved by the Teotihuacanos is the Pyramid of the Moon. According to an archaeological mission supervised by the INAH, it seems that the Pyramid of the Moon was the starting point for the layout of the entire sacred city, during the Classic Period (300-650 AD).
The excavations culminated in 2020, when INAH archaeologists discovered that there is a large cave 15 meters deep. It is located “towards the center of the current structure and oriented towards Cerro Gordo,” as they explained in a statement.
Archaeologists Denisse L. Argote Espino and Verónica Ortega Cabrera led the study. One of the main findings is that, below the main structure, there is an artificial cave, which the ancient architects designed to emulate the shape of the underworld.
The results were published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, where the authors confirm that the cave below the pyramid is not natural. On the contrary, it was the work of the Teotihuacan hand. In addition to the cave, they also found tunnels and secret passages under the pyramids of the Sun and Quetzalcóatl:
“[…] probably dedicated to religious ceremonies about the underworld, fertility and the creation of humanity,” the researchers write. “The historical impact of this discovery opens discussion about the symbolic meaning of this pyramid and the origins of urban planning at the site.”
To do this, the team used ERT and ANT investigations. These are non-invasive geophysical techniques with heritage. With them, this void was confirmed below the Pyramid of the Moon, which could emulate the shape of the Teotihuacan underworld, below (literally) its sacred city.
Source: National Geographics