It’s called the Pyramid to the Moon but the secret tunnel found recently underneath this pyramid in the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan is heading in the opposite direction of the sky. According to archeologists who verified the existence of the tunnel, it was built and used by the mysterious residents of Teotihuacan – which means ‘the place where the gods were created’ – to emulate the underworld. Since remains have been found at the site indicating it was used for human sacrifices, what exactly was going on in this secret passageway?
According to a statement issued this week by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, archeologists expected this 2000-year-old pyramid to have an underworld tunnel since similar structures also had them. Assuming it would run from below the altar of the Great Goddess of Teotihuacan -- the goddess of water, fertility, the earth, and creation – located on the top of the pyramid to a spot beneath the altar in the nearby Plaza of the Moon (Plaza de Luna), electrical resistivity tomography was placed on the ground above the path. That equipment found “a straight cavity ten meters deep that would go from the center of the square to the Pyramid of the Moon.”
These tomography images and future ones will be used to create 2D and 3D models that will help archeologists prepare for their eventual entry into the tunnel to discover its true purpose. That opportunity was lost with the Pyramid of the Sun, a larger pyramid whose tunnel was discovered by archeologists in the 1970s but unfortunately also by looters in the 16th century.
What do the archeologists hope to find in the tunnel? While an actual entrance to the underworld would be most exciting, they’ll be happy to find relics showing what the mysterious Mesoamerican culture that lived here from 150 BCE to 500 CE and built the pyramids used this particular one for. While human remains have been found, there are no tombs of leaders here. With this being the pyramid of the goddess of creation, they hope to find signs of rituals relating to the culture’s beliefs about the origin of life and plants. They’d also like to uncover more information about the mysterious Teotihuacan society that once numbered up to 200,000 before suddenly disappearing.
The surface signs that led the researchers to find this tunnel appear in other area, leading them to hope they will locate more that have not been looted.
"These elements indicate that before the construction of the pyramid there was a sacralization of the space, since green megalithic stones have been found in front of the building, which were very valuable for Teotihuacan and are very likely to form part of a discourse Ritual much more extensive, although at the moment it is unknown if they have any relation with the possible tunnel."
Pyramids, secret tunnels, ancient rituals, human sacrifices, the underworld. Who needs movies when we’re still learning about the real things?