Remains of Aztec dwellings and floating gardens discovered in Mexico City


Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of a dwelling that was built 800 years ago during the Aztec Empire in the Centro district of Mexico City, Mexico during works to modernize the area.

The centuries-old home was discovered by archaeologists and construction workers ahead of an initiative to upgrade electrical substations.

The dwelling is believed to date from the Late Postclassic period (1200 to 1521 AD) and was located on the border of two districts of the city of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire, according to a statement from the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico (opens in a new tab) (INAH). It spans over 4,300 square feet (400 square meters), about half the size of a baseball field.

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In the Late Postclassic, the area currently excavated was a residential and agricultural center, and archaeologists at the site have also found the remains of canals and a jetty (a platform where boats stop to load or unload) used in the Aztec chinampa method. of farming. The chinampa technique involved growing crops on small areas of artificial land (sometimes called floating gardens) on shallow lake beds.

Archaeologists found more Aztec artifacts in the residential area of ​​the excavations. Beneath the thick adobe floors of the Aztec building, the excavation team found a pair of burial vessels containing the bone remains of infants, as well as several associated burials with an offering of censers (vessels in which incense is burned) , whorls (a spinning machine or spindle) and spinning tools.

Researchers also unearthed a stone statue that stands just over 23.5 inches (60 centimeters) tall. The statue, also from the late Postclassic period, depicts a man in a loincloth who appears to be throwing something. Archaeologists believe the statue may have been unfinished, as it lacks varnish on the body, and they speculate that it may have been hidden at the time of the Spanish intervention in the Aztec Empire, which started around 1521 AD according to the statement.

Excavations of the remains of the dwelling also bring to light a saddlery and ceramics workshop, which existed on the site during the colonial era of the 16th and 17th centuries.

In the 19th century, part of this site may have been used as a public bath, archaeologist Alicia Bracamontes Cruz, involved in the excavation, said in the statement. Researchers have discovered remnants of these baths, including tiled floors and a drainage system. It is likely that wealthy people used these baths, according to descriptions in the chronicles of José María Marroquí, a 19th-century Mexican physician and historian.

Archaeological work is expected to continue in the area with the construction of a bank of pipelines to enter inside the new substation.

Originally posted on Live Science.


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