History Podcasts

The Temple of the Feathered Serpent and the gold-coloured spheres

The Temple of the Feathered Serpent and the gold-coloured spheres


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

The Temple of the Feathered Serpent is the third largest pyramid at Teotihuacan, a pre-Columbian site in central Mexico. Constructed in 200 AD, the six-level step pyramid was built using hundreds of enormous stone blocks that were majestically sculpted, harmoniously integrating the sculpture and the architecture in order to create this unique monument. The structure is notable partly due to the discovery in the 1980s of more than a hundred sacrifice victims found buried beneath the structure.

The pyramid takes its name from representations of the Mesoamerican "feathered serpent" deity which covered its sides. These are some of the earliest-known representations of the feathered serpent, often identified with the much-later Aztec god Quetzalcoatl.

Temple of the Feathered Serpent. Photo credit: Wikipedia

In May 2013, a team of archaeologists used a camera-equipped robot, to explore beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent . What they found was unprecedented – hundreds of gold-coloured metallic spheres scattered in two chambers which lie underneath the pyramid.

The mysterious spheres, which are gold in colour, range in size from 1.5 to 5 inches. They have an inner core of clay and are covered in a material called jarosite, which is formed by the oxidation of pyrite, a metallic ore.

"They look like yellow spheres, but we do not know their meaning. It's an unprecedented discovery," said Jorge Zavala, an archaeologist at Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute.

According to George Cowgill, professor emeritus at Arizona State University and the author of several publications on Teotihuacan, the spheres would have shown up brilliantly in their time. Even the walls and ceiling of the chambers were covered with a mineral power composed of magnetite, pyrite and hematite which created a brightness in the areas.

As well as the spheres, archaeologists also found many other items including pottery and wooden masks covered in crystal, jade and quartz, indicating that the chambers were used by high-ranking people, priests or even rulers to perform rituals.

The next stage of the project will involve an exploration of three more chambers which archaeologists have seen through the robot cameras.

"The tunnel is in pristine condition, untouched for almost two millennia," said Ng Tze Chuen, an independent researcher who worked on the design of the Tláloc II-TC robot. "Can you can imagine what can be found inside?"

The team of researchers are hoping that the final chamber may lead to one of the most significant archaeological finds in Teotihuacan – the remains of those who ruled there.


    Liquid mercury found under Mexican pyramid could lead to king's tomb

    Visitors look at the archaeological area of the Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent) Temple near the Pyramid of the Sun at the Teotihuacan archaeological site, north of Mexico City. Photograph: Henry Romero/Reuters

    Visitors look at the archaeological area of the Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent) Temple near the Pyramid of the Sun at the Teotihuacan archaeological site, north of Mexico City. Photograph: Henry Romero/Reuters

    Last modified on Wed 14 Feb 2018 20.43 GMT

    An archaeologist has discovered liquid mercury at the end of a tunnel beneath a Mexican pyramid, a finding that could suggest the existence of a king’s tomb or a ritual chamber far below one of the most ancient cities of the Americas.

    Mexican researcher Sergio Gómez announced on Friday that he had discovered “large quantities” of liquid mercury in a chamber below the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, the third largest pyramid of Teotihuacan, the ruined city in central Mexico.

    Gómez has spent six years slowly excavating the tunnel, which was unsealed in 2003 after 1,800 years. Last November, Gómez and a team announced they had found three chambers at the tunnel’s 300ft end, almost 60ft below the temple. Near the entrance of the chambers, they found a trove of strange artifacts: jade statues, jaguar remains, a box filled with carved shells and rubber balls.

    Archaeologists work at a tunnel that may lead to royal tombs at the ancient city of Teotihuacan, in this May 2011 photo. Photograph: Handout/Reuters

    Slowly working their way down the broad, dark and deep corridor beneath the pyramid, battling humidity and now obliged to wear protective gear against the dangers of mercury poisoning, Gómez and his team are meticulously exploring the three chambers.

    Mercury is toxic and capable of devastating the human body through prolonged exposure the liquid metal had no apparent practical purpose for ancient Mesoamericans. But it has been discovered at other sites. Rosemary Joyce, a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, said that archaeologists have found mercury at three other sites around Central America.

    Gómez speculated that the mercury could be a sign that his team is close to uncovering the first royal tomb ever found in Teotihuacan after decades of excavation – and centuries of mystery surrounding the leadership of the cryptic but well-preserved city.

    The mercury may have symbolized an underworld river or lake, Gómez postulated, an idea that resonated with Annabeth Headreck, a professor at the University of Denver and the author of works on Teotihuacan and Mesoamerican art.

    The shimmering, reflective qualities of liquid mercury may have resembled “an underworld river, not that different from the river Styx,” Headrick said, “if only in the concept that it’s the entrance to the supernatural world and the entrance to the underworld.”

    “Mirrors were considered a way to look into the supernatural world, they were a way to divine what might happen in the future,” she said. “It could be a sort of river, albeit a pretty spectacular one.”

    Joyce said that archaeologists know that scintillation fascinated the ancient people generally, and that the liquid mercury may have been regarded as “somewhat magical … there for ritual purposes or symbolic purposes.”

    Headrick said that mercury was not the only object of fascination: “a lot of ritual objects were made reflective with mica,” a sparkling mineral likely imported to the region.

    In 2013 archaeologists using a robot found metallic spheres which they dubbed “disco balls” in an un-excavated portion of the tunnel, near pyrite mirrors. “I wish I could understand all the things these guys are finding down there,” Headrick said, “but it’s unique and that’s why it’s hard.”

    Water was also precious to many of the people of Mesoamerica, who knew of underground water systems and lakes that could be accessed through caves. Teotihuacan once had springs as well, though they are now dried out.

    Joyce said the ancient Mesoamericans could produce liquid mercury by heating mercury ore, known as cinnabar, which they also used for its blood-red pigment. The Maya used cinnabar to decorate jade objects and color the bodies of their royalty, for instance the people of Teotihuacan – for whom archaeologists have not agreed on a name – have not left any obvious royal remains for study.

    An undated graphic shows the tunnel that may lead to a royal tomb discovered underneath the Quetzalcoatl temple in the ancient city of Teotihuacan. Photograph: Handout/Reuters

    The discovery of a tomb could help solve the enigma of how Teotihuacan was ruled, and Joyce said that the concentration of artifacts outside the tunnel chambers could be associated with a tomb – or a set of ritual chambers.

    A royal tomb could lend credence to the theory that the city, which flourished between 100-700AD, was ruled by dynasties in the manner of the Maya, though with far less obvious flair for self-glorification.

    But a royal tomb could also hold the remains of a lord, which may fit with a competing idea about the city. Linda Manzanilla, a Mexican archaeologist acclaimed by many of her peers, contends that the city was governed by four co-rulers and notes that the city lacks a palace or apparent depiction of kings on its many murals. The excavation by Gomez my find one of those co-rulers, under this hypothesis.

    Headrick suggested yet more fluid models, in which strong lineages or clans traded rule but never cemented into dynasties, or in which the rulers relied on agreements with the military to maintain power, and authority was vested more in an office than a family. Ancient Teotihuacan was a city with familiar factions vying for influence: the elite, the military, the merchants, the priests and the people.

    For now, the archaeologists and anthropologists continue digging and deducing. Gomez says he hopes excavation of the chambers to be complete by October, and Headrick said that archeologists are looking at the city from new angles. Some are trying to decipher the paintings and hieroglyphics around the city, others trying to parse what may be a writing system without verbs or syntax.

    Then there are the thousands of artifacts, some unprecedented and bizarre, that Gomez and his fellows are disinterring from beneath the pyramid. “It’s quite the mystery,” Headrick said. “It’s fun.”


    Hundreds of mysterious yellow orbs discovered under Mexico’s Temple of the Feathered Serpent

    Archaeologists excavating beneath Mexico’s Temple of the Feathered Serpent have discovered hundreds of mysterious yellow orbs.

    Tunnels near the third largest pyramid in the pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan have been the focus of archaeological study ever since they were discovered in 2003.

    The yellow spheres were uncovered when a remote-controlled robot carrying camera equipment was deployed to explore a series of winding and largely inaccessible chambers within the ancient pyramid ruins that are characterised by statues of strange serpent-like creatures.

    "They look like yellow spheres, but we do not know their meaning," Jorge Zavala, an archaeologist at Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute, told ABC news of the find. "It's an unprecedented discovery."

    The orbs measure between 1.5 and 5 inches and are believed to be covered in a yellow material called jarosite and to contain a core of clay.

    The World Heritage Site, a city of pyramids located just 30 miles from Mexico City, is thought to have been established around 100 B.C and was inhabited by around 100,000 people at its peak before being mysteriously abandoned around 700 A.D.

    The remote-controlled robot Tlaloc II-TC sent to explore the tunnels carries an infrared camera and a laser scanner that generates 3-D visualisation of the spaces beneath the temple, allowing it to access parts of the ruin which have not yet been excavated.

    "A few months ago we found two side chambers at 72 and 74 metres from the entrance. We called them North Chamber and South Chamber,” archaeologist Sergio Gómez Chávez, director of the Tlalocan Project, told Discovery News.

    "The robot was able to enter in the part of the tunnel which has not yet been excavated yet and found three chambers… We believe that high-ranking people, priests or even rulers, went down to the tunnel to perform rituals.”

    George Cowgill, professor emeritus at Arizona State University, told Discovery News the find was “unique”.

    He said: “Pyrite was certainly used by the Teotihuacanos and other ancient Mesoamerican societies. Originally the spheres would have shown brilliantly. They are indeed unique, but I have no idea what they mean.”

    The walls of the tunnels are covered in a mineral powder made up of magnetite, pyrite and hematite. Gomez believes the tunnel was sealed twice by the Teotihuacan people and the access was blocked nearly two millennia ago in order to project something very important in the central chamber.

    He believes the tunnels might contain the remains of those who ruled Teotihuacan and that the site is possibly one of the most significant archaeological finds in the region.


    Robot finds mysterious spheres in ancient temple

    Hundreds of mysterious spheres lie beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, an ancient six-level step pyramid just 30 miles from Mexico City.

    The enigmatic spheres were found during an archaeological dig using a camera-equipped robot at one of the most important buildings in the pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan.

    "They look like yellow spheres, but we do not know their meaning. It's an unprecedented discovery," said Jorge Zavala, an archaeologist at Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute.

    The Mesoamerican ruins of Teotihuacan, a World Heritage Site, represent one of the largest urban centers of the ancient world. Thought to have been established around 100 B.C., the pyramid-filled city had more than 100,000 inhabitants at its peak, but was abandoned for mysterious reasons around 700 A.D. — long before the Aztecs arrived in the 1300s.

    The excavation at the temple focused on a 330-foot-long tunnel which runs under the structure. The conduit was discovered in 2003 when heavy rain uncovered a hole a few feet from the pyramid.

    Exploring the tunnel, which was deliberately filled with debris and ruins by the Teotihuacan people, required several years of preliminary work and planning.

    "Finally, a few months ago we found two side chambers at 72 and 74 meters (236 and 242 feet) from the entrance. We called them North Chamber and South Chamber,” archaeologist Sergio Gómez Chávez, director of the Tlalocan Project, told Discovery News.

    The archaeologists explored the tunnel with a remote-controlled robot called Tlaloc II-TC, which has an infrared camera and a laser scanner that generates 3-D visualization of the spaces beneath the temple.

    "The robot was able to enter in the part of the tunnel which has not yet been excavated yet and found three chambers between 100 and 110 meters (328 and 360 feet) from the entrance," Gómez Chávez said.

    The mysterious spheres lay in both the north and south chambers. Ranging from 1.5 to 5 inches, the objects have a core of clay and are covered with a yellow material called jarosite.

    "This material is formed by the oxidation of pyrite, which is a metallic ore," Gómez Chávez said. "It means that in pre-hispanic times they appeared as if they were metallic spheres. There are hundreds of these in the south chamber."

    According to George Cowgill, professor emeritus at Arizona State University and the author of several publications on Teotihuacan, the spheres are a fascinating find.

    "Pyrite was certainly used by the Teotihuacanos and other ancient Mesoamerican societies," Cowgill told Discovery News. "Originally the spheres would have shown brilliantly. They are indeed unique, but I have no idea what they mean."

    Even the walls and ceiling of both chambers were covered with a mineral powder composed of magnetite, pyrite and hematite which provided a special brightness to the place.

    "We believe that high-ranking people, priests or even rulers, went down to the tunnel to perform rituals," Gómez Chávez said.

    Indeed the archaeologists found many offerings, including pottery and wooden masks covered with inlaid rock crystal, jade and quartz — all dating from around 100 A.D.

    Gómez Chávez and his team now look forward to the next phase of the project — exploring the last part of the tunnel and three chambers which archaeologists have seen through the robot cameras.

    "The tunnel is in pristine condition, untouched for almost two millennia," said Ng “TC” Tze Chuen, an independent researcher who worked on the design of the Tláloc II-TC robot. "Can you can imagine what can be found inside?"

    Ng, who helped create the Djedi robot that explored Egypt's Great Pyramid in 2010, believes the Mexican tunnel might lead to one of the most significant archaeological finds in Teotihuacan.

    "The results are very encouraging indeed," he said.

    According to Gómez Chávez, the tunnel was sealed twice by the Teotihuacan people. Thick walls, erected to block access, were demolished about 1,800 years ago in order to deposit something very important in the central chamber at the end of the tunnel.

    "Maybe in this place," Gómez Chávez said, "we will find the remains of those who ruled Teotihuacan.”


    The History Blog

    The excavations under the Temple of the Feathered Serpent in Teotihuacan have unearthed another exceptional find: large quantities of liquid mercury. Archaeologist Sergio Gómez and his team have been excavating the tunnel underneath the pre-Aztec pyramid, discovered by accident in 2003 when a sinkhole opened up in front of the temple, since 2009, using a robot to reveal three chambers at the end of the tunnel and last year discovering an enormous cache of 50,000 artifacts (sculptures, jade, rubber balls, obsidian blades, pyrite mirrors) and organic remains (animal bones, fur, plants, seeds, skin). It has taken so long to excavate it because the tunnel was filled to the brim with soil and rocks and sealed 1,800 years ago by the people of Teotihuacan about whom we know very little.

    The mercury was found in one of the chambers discovered by the robot at the end of the tunnel.

    “It’s something that completely surprised us,” Gomez said at the entrance to the tunnel below Teotihuacan’s Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent, about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Mexico City.

    Some archeologists believe the toxic element could herald what would be the first ruler’s tomb ever found in Teotihuacan, a contemporary of several ancient Maya cities, but so shrouded in mystery that its inhabitants still have no name.

    Unsure why the mercury was put there, Gomez says the metal may have been used to symbolize an underworld river or lake.

    />Mercuric sulfide is the most commonly found source of mercury ore and ancient Mesoamericans were intimately familiar with it both as a red pigment and for its mercury content. They knew how to extract mercury from crushed cinnabar — heating the ore separates the mercury from sulfur and the evaporated mercury can then be collected in a condensing column — and employed it as a gilding medium and possibly for ritual purposes. It was very difficult and dangerous to produce. Before now, traces of mercury have only been found at a two Maya sites and one Olmec site in Central America. This is the first time it has been discovered in Teotihuacan, and I suspect this is the first time it has been discovered in large amounts anywhere in ancient Mexico. (The exact quantities discovered under the Temple of the Feathered Serpent and at the other sites haven’t been reported.)

    Reflective materials held a great deal of religious significance in Mesoamerican cultures. Mirrors were seen as conduits to the supernatural. A river of mercury would make one hugely expensive and ritually important conveyance to the underworld. Added to the exceptional finds already made in the tunnel, the presence of so much mercury indicates that if anybody was buried in these chambers, it would have to be someone of enormous importance in Teotihuacan society. It could be a king, but we don’t know what kind of governing system they had in Teotihuacan, so it could be a lord, several oligarchs or religious leaders. The hope is that this excavation and its unprecedented finds will answer many of the long-outstanding questions about the city of Teotihuacan.

    I’m excited about this discovery because I’ve been fascinated by the notion of underground rivers of mercury since I first read about the ones reportedly created for the tomb of the first Emperor of China Qin Shi Huang. Better known today for the terracotta army found in pits around the emperor’s burial mound, the mausoleum itself was apparently a thing of shimmering splendour. Grand Historian to the Han emperor Sima Qian, writing a century after the Qin emperor’s death, described Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum in Volume Six of the Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian), China’s first official dynastic history.

    They dug down deep to underground springs, pouring copper to place the outer casing of the coffin. Palaces and viewing towers housing a hundred officials were built and filled with treasures and rare artifacts. Workmen were instructed to make automatic crossbows primed to shoot at intruders. Mercury was used to simulate the hundred rivers, the Yangtze and Yellow River, and the great sea, and set to flow mechanically. Above, the heaven is depicted, below, the geographical features of the land.

    As the emperor’s burial mound has not been excavated (just the environs), we don’t know if the rivers of flowing mercury really existed, but high levels of mercury have been found in soil samples taken from the tumulus so significant amounts of the heavy metal were certainly used for some purpose. I think it would be the coolest thing if the people of Teotihuacan created their own shimmering splendor of an underworld too.

    This entry was posted on Saturday, April 25th, 2015 at 2:37 PM and is filed under Ancient. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


    Teotihuacan 'Orbs,' Metallic Spheres, Found By Robot Under 'Temple Of The Feathered Serpent' In Mexico

    For centuries, Mexico's ancient city of Teotihuacan has concealed a mysterious secret, only recently revealed by the help of robots equipped with lasers and infrared cameras.

    The small, remote-controlled devices have explored several rooms beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, a structure described by Discovery as a "six-level pyramid decorated with snake-like creatures." The probes revealed hundreds of mysterious yellow orbs that range from four to 12 centimeters across. Indiana Jones would most certainly approve.

    SCROLL FOR PHOTOS

    According to a release from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, the clay spheres are believed to have originally been covered in pyrite, a yellow-colored mineral known as "Fool's Gold," which oxidized over thousands of years to become jarosite, an amber mineral crust.

    Jorge Zavala, an archaeologist at the excavation, called the metallic orbs an "unprecedented discovery," adding that the scientists "do not know their meaning," via Discovery.

    LiveScience notes that the odd spheres were found deep within the temple in three burial chambers that are believed to house some of Teotihuacan's ancient leaders.

    According to a report by NBC's Today Show, the tunnel concealing the three rooms had been sealed off 1,800 years ago and was rediscovered in 2003 after a heavy rainstorm caused the ground to sink, revealing the hole.


    The Hidden Tunnels & Chambers Under the Teotihuacan Pyramids

    The tunnels beneath Teotihuacan and the special robot Tlaloc II-TC. Credit: HuffPost

    In 2003, under the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, also known as the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, at a depth of 18 meters below the ground, archaeologists found a 100-meter long tunnel with three main chambers.

    The walls of the tunnel are decorated with jade, shells, and ceramics. It is believed that many important rituals were performed there, which were to be hidden from ordinary people. For unknown reasons, this mysterious tunnel was sealed about 250 AD, as if in an attempt to hide it.

    Excavations of the tunnel were progressing very slowly, so in 2015, archaeologists from the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History decided to explore the hard-to-reach places within the tunnel with the help of a special robot Tlaloc II-TC.

    The robot was controlled remotely and could penetrate the narrowest parts of the tunnel, which were still unexcavated. The robot is 90 centimeters long, equipped with photo and video cameras, infrared scanners, three-dimensional mapping equipment, and a special lever to clear its way.

    The robot detected several previously unknown branches of the tunnel. Then he came across something amazing. In one of the Teotihuacan underground chambers, the robot found hundreds of yellow balls with a diameter of 3.8 centimeters to 12 centimeters. The balls themselves are made of clay, and their surface is covered with pyrite, the so-called “Fool’s Gold”.


    New Artifact-Filled Chambers Revealed under Teotihuacan

    Scientists with the Mexican government announced Wednesday the discovery of three new chambers at the end of a tunnel under the ancient city of Teotihuacan. The tunnel was discovered in 2003 beneath the popular tourist destination just outside today&rsquos Mexico City and is among the most important finds in the lost city&rsquos history.

    In a press briefing at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, Mexican archeologists say that the new rooms contained thousands of objects, including carved statues, rubber balls, jade from Guatemala and a wooden box of shells. Beyond some traces of skin, however, no bodies have been discovered, although archaeologists have hypothesized that the site holds a burial chamber, perhaps still buried in the soil. &ldquoJust before the chambers is where we found very important offerings&mdasha lot of them&mdashalongside many objects," says Sergio Gomez, who directs the excavation project.

    Archeologists know very little about mountain city of Teotihuacan. The tunnel, discovered 11 years ago under the Temple of the Feathered Serpent at the heart of the ancient metropolis, is the latest piece in a puzzle dating back to before Europeans arrived in the New World. &ldquoThese findings are very important, both for the quantity and the quality of materials being discovered,&rdquo wrote George Cowgill, a professor at Arizona State University in Tempe who directs a research center at Teotihuacan, in an e-mail. It will probably take years of analysis to truly understand the significance of each object and the assemblage, he added.

    As a city, Teotihuacan began around 150 B.C. and collapsed sometime in the seventh century A.D. During that time it was probably the most powerful city in all of North America, dominating even the Classic Maya, who were their lowland contemporaries far to the east in what is now southern Mexico and Guatemala.

    The inhabitants of Teotihuacan, unlike the Maya, did not have a system of writing and thus we know very little about how they lived or ran their city. For instance, archeologists debate their political structure: One side envisions a single omnipotent ruler whereas the other sees a joint rule shared by four competing factions.

    Unfortunately, Teotihuacan has neither images of its kings nor royal burials, although scientists have found numerous high-ranking nobles. The discovery of a royal burial under the Temple of the Feathered Serpent might upend everything known about the city.

    The tunnel itself was discovered when a heavy rainstorm exposed a shaft that led to a spot about halfway down its length. The shaft&rsquos purpose remains a mystery but scientists believe the tunnel had a ceremonial purpose, and it is possible that the shaft was used for astronomical purposes.

    Over the next decade Gomez&rsquos team dug out the tunnel and found numerous offerings. Their work culminated in 2013 with the discovery of a series of two chambers on either side of the tunnel near the end filled with pyrite mirrors and strange crystal spheres. After that the tunnel dropped below the water table. "The water has made our work move slower, however the large quantity of water below has enabled the preservation of materials like wood, rubber and even skin fragments," Gomez says.

    He and his team announced Wednesday that three more chambers lay beyond the initial two, oriented in a sort of cross just a few dozen feet down the tunnel. In and around those chambers he found more puzzling objects, including a wooden box filled with shells imported from the ocean and carved by stone tools.

    In addition, there were four 60-centimeter-tall jade statues, rubber balls and jaguar remains. They also report finding fragments of skin, although they can&rsquot be sure yet if it is human. Human or not, there are no obvious burials in any of the chambers but that does not mean that the quest for a Teotihuacan burial is over. &ldquoThese could be funerary offerings but I wonder if they might be remains of a huge feast&mdasha feast that might have been part of a great funerary and sacrificial ceremony, especially considering the large number of rather plain jars,&rdquo Cowgill wrote. He added that other objects in the chamber reinforce the importance of women in Teotihuacan society as well as the long reach of their trade.

    Gomez&rsquos team is in the process of excavating the rooms down to the floors and it is possible there are nobles buried in the detritus or even below the chamber floors. He expects the work to continue and remains optimistic that a body will be found. &ldquoIt's very exciting because it corroborates our hypothesis that this could be an offering for something more important that lies beneath. And the hypothesis is that there is a burial site but we won&rsquot know for sure until next year."


    Mystery Of Hundreds Of Yellow Orbs Found In Mexico's Temple Of The Feathered Serpent

    Hundreds of mysterious yellow orbs have been found beneath Mexico’s Temple of the Feathered Serpent.

    The once-metallic spheres were discovered by a robot named Tláloc II-TC, which was deployed by archaeologists exploring a tunnel and series of chambers beneath the ancient ruins.

    Jorge Zavala, an archaeologist with Mexico’s National Anthropology and History Unit told NBCNews Science: “They look like yellow spheres, but we do not know their meaning. It’s an unprecedented discovery.”

    Tabs show the locations of the mysterious yellow spheres

    The balls range from 1.5 to 5 inches in circumference, have a core of clay and are covered with a yellow material called jarosite.

    Remote-controlled Tláloc II-TC (who is named after Mexico's ancient god of rain) is three-feet-long and can squeeze through tight spaces where human beings would otherwise be unable to explore.

    The 77lb machine ran into some difficulties on its mission, having to contend with getting its tires stuck in thick mud, Sergio Gomez, lead archaeologist said in a report published by the Mexican newspaper El Universal.

    The Temple of the Feathered Serpent at Teotihuacan

    "In some sections the depth of the sludge was 20 to 30 centimeters," said Hugo Armando Guerra, an engineer with HA Robotics company, in a translated statement.

    Of the jarosite spheres, Gomez says: “This material is formed by the oxidation of pyrite, which is a metallic ore. It means that in pre-hispanic times they appeared as if they were metallic spheres. There are hundreds of these in the south chamber.”

    The temple is located in the Mesoamerican ruins of Teotihuacan, which is located 30 miles from Mexico City.

    Tlaloc II-TC has been assisting in the investigation of the 2,000 year old tunnel

    According to Wired, several of the rooms in the tunnel are thought to have been used by Teotihuacan royalty for rituals and burials - pointing to the possibility the orbs may related to ceremonial procedures.

    In the 1980s, the remains of over 200 warriors were discovered at the core of the temple, which is also known as the Temple of Quetzalcoatl.

    Teotihuacan, thought to have been established around 100 BC, had more than 100,000 inhabitants at its peak, but was mysteriously abandoned in 700AD.


    Watch the video: Ancient Aliens: Aztec Gods Visit Season 12, Episode 7. History (May 2022).