City of Gods: Discovery of a secret tunnel to the underworld of Teotihuacan

Archaeologists are leaving no stone unturned in order to unfold the mystery surrounding the ancient city of Teotihuacan(City of Gods) as a hidden tunnel beneath the Pyramid of the Moon has been found.
It is believed that it was built to represent the passage to the underworld.
Somewhat in 300 BC, Mesoamerican people started to construct larger settlements and built this great city.
This city has once been called home by more than 125,000 inhabitants, making it the sixth-largest city in the world at the time.

City of Gods

“It was the largest city anywhere in the Western Hemisphere before the 1400s,” “It had thousands of residential compounds and scores of pyramid-temples comparable to the largest pyramids of Egypt.” – Arizona State University archaeologist Robert Cowgill told National Geographic.

Along the famed Avenue of the Dead, the Pyramid of the Sun is located, which is the largest structure in Teotihuacan and the Pyramid of the Moon, the second-largest located at the end of the road.
The city was built before the Aztec culture by 1,000 years.
There is proof that various people including Mayans, inhabited the city and influenced the architecture which has turned this place into a famous tourist spot now.
It is still unknown who built the city in the first place.
Even the real name of the city remains unknown since it was the Aztecs who named the city we know today that means the birthplace of the gods, while Mayan hieroglyphic texts identify it as puh, meaning Place of Reeds.

City of Gods
Example of Mayan hieroglyphs, which named Teotihuacan as Puh

When Aztecs migrated in, the city had already been deserted and archaeologists have been calibrating the downfall of the city for decades suggesting various theories.
One of the theories of its downfall is that the city was invaded by a foreign enemy.
But there is proof that an internal uprising caused due to an ecological disaster led to the decline in the population and overthrowing of the ruling class.
As many structures showed proof of evidence of being burned, researchers firmly concluded that an enemy civilization attacked the city.
What baffled the archaeologists that only structures belonging to the ruling class were burned, which suggests an internal revolt.
But for what reason did the people of the city went against the ruling class?
It emerged that a famine during major droughts occurred because of climate change in 535-536 AD hit the city which could be the cause.
The city was relying strongly on agriculture for food, cultivating almost everything from tomatoes, maize, beans to pumpkins, and more but once the droughts came into effect the food supply began to reduce resulting in famine.
One reason for the sudden change in climate may have been the 535 AD eruption of the Ilopango volcano in El Salvador.
Several Mayan cities either came to an end or were abandoned because of the Volcanic eruption.
The same volcanic eruption could be the reason behind the end or desertion of the Teotihuacan?
Researchers have learned a lot about the people living in Teotihuacan.
Archaeologists have been excavating the site for decades, and have found murals, stone masks, statues, figurines, and evidence of human and animal sacrifices.

A stone mask made of marble found at Teotihuacan. Image via Wikimedia.

Much evidence of human and animal sacrifice has been found at the Pyramid of the Moon, built between 100 and 450 AD at the end of the Avenue of the Dead.
Connected to the street is a staircase that takes us to a stage where these sacrificial ceremonies were performed.
The ground under the pyramid also acts as a burial ground for the sacrificed and there is an altar dedicated to the Great Goddess of Teotihuacan.

Lately, during excavation what archaeologists found was quite thrilling, they discovered a mysterious tunnel beneath the pyramid they believe served as a metaphorical passage to the underworld, which makes sense since humans were sacrificed at the site.

“In the explorations carried out at the end of the 1980s, through tunnels excavated in the body of the pyramid, archaeologists Ruben Cabrera and Saburo Sugiyama found skeletons of individuals with cranial deformation, as in the Mayan area, and various green stone objects, so it is not difficult to think that something similar could be found in the subsoil,”
“The tunnel is located to the south of the Plaza de la Luna,”
“But it is likely that there is another entrance to the east side, so it is essential to have complete radiography to know where its entrance is.”
– Dr. Veronica Ortega of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History told IFLScience.

The team found the tunnel by using an imaging technique called electrical resistivity tomography to map structures below the surface.
Technology has been more crucial than ever before in archaeological excavations.

“These large complex offerings constitute the sacred core of the city of Teotihuacan, so all people considered it the mecca of civilization, hence what can be found inside can help unravel the relationships that this ancient metropolis with other regions of Mesoamerica,”
“The discovery confirms that the inhabitants of Teotihuacan followed the same pattern in their large-scale temples and that their function was to emulate the underworld.”- Ortega concluded.

The discovery of this tunnel is certainly an interesting development that makes us crave for more knowledge regarding this city and its civilizations.
Perhaps archaeologists will find more as new technology is applied to the site. Perhaps one day, we will get to know the real name of the city and find out who constructed it in the first place.
For now, we’ll just have to settle for a creepy tunnel that we definitely would not want to enter at night as for some reason it involves human sacrifices.
Spooky, yet interesting.
let us know what you think about the City of Gods in the comment section.

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