Category Archives: MEXICO

Boy Found Million-Year-Old Fossil by Tripping Over It

Boy Found Million-Year-Old Fossil by Tripping Over It

For example, while walking through the New Mexican desert, something turns out to be a fossil of Stegomastodon from 1.2 million years ago, you could see some benefits.

Dr. Peter Houde with the Sparks brothers during the Stegomastodon excavation.

Jude Sparks, 9, was doing this last October when he and his parents visited the Orange Mountains.

The brother of Jude, a hunter, was not initially convinced that the finding was awesome.

“Hunter said it was just a big fat rotten cow,” Jude told KVIA TV. “I didn’t know what it was. I just knew it wasn’t usual.”

To him, the discovery looked like “fossilized wood.”

His parents agreed and contacted Peter Houde, a professor at New Mexico State University, who returned with the family to the site the next day. Sure enough, the boy had stumbled over a fossilized tusk.

It’s a big discovery — both literally and metaphorically. The ancient mammals were cousins to the wooly mammoth and modern-day elephant, so the remains are large.

They’re also rare since prehistoric bones typically disintegrate quickly after being exposed to the elements. Houde suspects the Sparks family came across the tusk just after erosion had brought it to the surface.

“This is really very unusual to find,” he told The New York Times.

With Houde’s help, the family reburied the remains and set about fundraising for a formal dig.

It took them months to organize a team and secure a permit — but in May they finally uncovered an entire skull made of fragile “egg-shell thin” pieces.

Jude Sparks

“We’re really, really grateful that they contacted us, because if they had not done that if they had tried to do it themselves, it could have just destroyed the specimen,” Houde, who hopes to display the remains at the university, said. “It really has to be done with great care and know-how.”

Oddly, this isn’t the first accidental Stegomastadon find. In 2014, a hiking bachelor party found a 3-million-year-old skull belonging to the dino in New Mexico’s Butte Lake State Park.

Humans may have hunted the Stegomastodon toward the end of its existence, though it’s likely that its mammoth competitors kicked it off the evolutionary tree.

The creatures remain — a bit smaller than the average African elephant — are easily identified by their broad, upward-curving tusks.

As for Jude, he isn’t really as into fossils as he was when he was “little.”

He’ll take the attention, though.

“I’m not really an expert,” the now-10-year-old told the Times. “But I know a lot about it, I guess.”

17th-Century Tunnel Decorated with Pre-Hispanic Carvings Discovered in Mexico

17th-Century Tunnel Decorated with Pre-Hispanic Carvings Discovered in Mexico

Historians in Mexico have found an intriguing, 11 drawings decorated tunnel from the 17th century.

The pictures were created before the Spanish conquistadors arrived, but were incorporated into the walls of the tunnel when it was built centuries later.

This suggests that the Aztecs, known for their magnificent temples, the method of a hieroglyphic writing system, and gruesome penchant for sacrificing children.

In the 15th century, the Aztec emperor Moctezuma I ordered the construction, in an attempt to control severe flooding from surrounding rivers, of a reservoir project in what is now Mexico City.

However, when infamous conquistador Hernán Cortés and his posse arrived, the system was destroyed, before being rebuilt in the 17th century. The dike system is now known as the Albarradon de Ecatepec.  

The stone used in the initial construction was likely repurposed when the dikes were rebuilt, explaining the Aztec symbols etched into the sides of the tunnel.

It is believed they were drawn by locals from the nearby towns of Chiconautla and Ecatepec prior to the Spanish invasion.

The images include both petroglyphs (rock carvings) and stucco relief panels and depict various things, including a war shield or chimalli, the head of a bird of prey, and a flint point.

Some icons are still being carefully examined to assess what they might portray, notes INAH, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History.

The head of a bird of prey drawn on the rock.

The main arch of the tunnel also includes an etching of a temple dedicated to Tlaloc, the Aztec god of rain, earthly fertility, and water. He was viewed by the Aztecs as a provider of life and sustenance.

Hidden within the 8-meter (27-foot) tunnel also lay various artifacts made from glass, porcelain, and a type of pottery called majolica, along with a statue of a seated person that appears to be missing its head and the lone feet of a larger statue.  

The discovery is part of a long-term government project to excavate the Albarradón de Ecatepec, which has been running since 2004.

The newly discovered tunnel is located 500 meters (1,640 feet) from the start of the Albarradón in an area called Patio de Diligencias.

The INAH now plans to replace the glyphs with replicas and house the originals in the Casa de Morelos Community Center.

The depiction of a temple dedicated to the Aztec god of rain.

Mysterious Secret Tunnel Discovered Under Ancient Pyramid in Mexico

Mysterious Secret Tunnel Discovered Under Ancient Pyramid in Mexico

As we use advanced archeological techniques, we appear to create incredible findings at various ancient locations, like Teotihuacan in Mexico.

Recently, in Teotihuacán’s ancient town northeast of Mexico City, archeologists have discovered a secret tunnel under the famous Moon Pyramid.

Hidden for ages, the underground tunnel, as archeologists claim, could represent the underworld as a component of the ancient system of belief in the Pre-Colombian civilization that once thrived here. The Moon Pyramid is the second largest structure seen in Teotihuacán.

The site was most certainly built 2,000 years ago, by a civilization that pre-dates the Aztecs who were later occupants of Teotihuacán.

According to National Geographic, the tunnel extends in length from the central square, known as Plaza de la Luna, and goes toward the nearby pyramid. It is at a depth of about 33 feet and is similar to a few other tunnels that had been discovered in the past.

The Pyramid of the Moon

This newest discovery was made with the help of a method known as electrical resistivity tomography that is able to generate subterranean imagery.

A team of archaeologists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History employed the method as part of their conservation effort concerning the central square at the ancient location. Nobody has yet been able to access the tunnel and see what’s hidden inside.

Gomes Believe that tunnel is one of the most important discoveries in the history of Mexico.
Gomes Believe that tunnel is one of the most important discoveries in the history of Mexico.

The Pyramid of the Moon could have been used for human sacrifice and a number of other rituals–claims that are based on studies of human remains located at burial sites in the complex.

As the purpose of the tunnel cannot be completely clear at the moment, it is up to further research to learn more details and recover artifacts.

The history of the ancient city of Teotihuacán is complex, but most certainly it was one of the largest cities in the Americas of pre-Columbian times, believed to have housed at least 125,000 people.

The Pyramid of the Moon, as the second-largest pyramid after the Pyramid of the Sun, imitates the contours of the mountain Cerro Gordo, that is just north of the site.

“Tenan” is one more name used for the site by some people, which in Nahuatl (Aztec) means “Mother of protective stone.” Estimates suggest the massive structure was built sometime before 200 AD, making it older than its bigger counterpart, the Pyramid of the Sun.

Pyramids of the Sun and Moon on the Avenue of the Dead, Teotihuacan ancient historic cultural city, old ruins of Aztec civilization, Mexico, North America

A slope found on the front of the pyramid’s staircase enables access to the Avenue of the Dead, a platform situated on the top of the pyramid.

This place was used to worship the Great Goddess of Teotihuacan, the deity of water, fertility, the Earth, and also creation itself. The platform, as well as a prominent sculpture unearthed at the bottom of the pyramid, are most certainly dedicated to this major deity.

The Plaza of the Moon, from where the newly uncovered tunnel extends towards the pyramid, is just opposite the altar of the Great Goddess. Its structure is composed of a central altar, plus a formation designated the “Teotihuacan Cross.”

Aerial view of the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon in Teotihuacan, México.

There is no doubt that an intelligent construction system was employed to build not only the monumental bases of the two great pyramids but also the entire city.

While evidence suggests the pyramids have undergone several intricate phases of construction, the entire city of Teotihuacán has signs that it was very carefully planned as well, incorporating its main axis and a great palace surrounded by 15 monumental pyramids in the design.

Tombs found in the location have contained human skeletons, but also a variety of animal bones, obsidian blades, pieces of jewelry and a number of other types of offerings. Despite all finds so far, many questions concerning Teotihuacán’s history and culture still need to be answered.