Mexico finds Aztec remains during subway drilling

MEXICO CITY Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:43am IST

Related Topics

Rajalakshmi (C), 28, smiles after winning the Miss Wheelchair India beauty pageant in Mumbai November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Miss Wheelchair India

Seven women from across India participated in the country's second wheelchair beauty pageant, which aims to open doors for the wheelchair-bound in modelling, film and television, according to organisers  Slideshow 

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Archeologists have uncovered more than 500-year-old remains of about 50 Aztec children, some of them stuffed into ceramic jars for burial, during excavations for a new subway line in Mexico City.

The team from Mexico's National Institute for Anthropology and History also found the foundations of Aztec homes, hundreds of small figurines, and pots and plates dating from 1100 to 1500 AD, on the eve of the Spanish conquest, along the 15-mile (24-km) subway line, due to open in 2012 in southern Mexico City, home to about 20 million people.

"In total there are 60 graves, 10 adults and around 50 children of different ages, some two or three years old," archeologist Maria de Jesus Sanchez told Reuters.

The graves, found scattered in excavation areas since builders began digging the subway line in September 2008, reflect burial practices of the Aztecs, who often interred their dead relatives underneath their homes.

The Aztec empire, with its capital in modern-day Mexico City, held sway over a large part of Mesoamerica for about a century until the arrival of the Spanish.

Deceased children were often placed in earthen vessels before burial in the belief that the jars would resemble the mother's womb and keep them warm.

Among the objects found was a 20-inch (50-cm) stone figure of a woman discovered under the graves of two children, close to the site of a new subway stations.

The subway line links several suburbs that were built on the site of centuries-old Aztec towns. In one suburb, Culhuacan, archeologists found fragments of pots and stone carvings of faces dating back as far as 2000 BC.

Mexico has around 40,000 registered archeological sites.

While officials today have the authority to halt or alter construction work if an important artifact is discovered, many historical sites have been destroyed during construction and infrastructure projects in the past.

(Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez; writing by Sarah Grainger; editing by Missy Ryan and Cynthia Osterman)

FILED UNDER:

SAARC Summit

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ferguson Riots

Ferguson Riots

More than 400 arrested as Ferguson protests spread to other U.S. cities   Full Article 

Taiwan Election

Taiwan Election

Taiwan vote tests waters for pro-China govt ahead of presidential polls  Full Article 

Rakhine Plight

Rakhine Plight

Exclusive - Poor and besieged, Myanmar's Rakhine join Rohingya exodus  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola vaccine from Glaxo passes early safety test  Full Article 

Korea Ferry Crew

Korea Ferry Crew

Stigma and isolation haunt S.Korean families of convicted ferry crew  Full Article 

Thanksgiving Pardon

Thanksgiving Pardon

Cheese bests Mac in quest for Obama's Thanksgiving turkey pardon  Full Article 

Hong Kong Protest

Hong Kong Protest

Hong Kong riot police clear protest site, arrest student leaders  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage