Mexico City is buzzing with new information and discoveries, as the remains of a huge Indian pyramid was uncovered. The announcement came Wednesday (April 5th, 2006) from a group of archeologists, who state that the pyramid dates back to the 6th century. It was buried beneath an old Catholic religious site that dates back centuries.
The pyramid was built on a hillside by the Teotihuacan culture, which is known for the questions that go unanswered regarding their traditions and ways. The pyramid is said to have been abandoned for close to 1,000 years until another group of people decided to use it for their own religious purposes. During the 1800s, Christians started to reenact the Crucifixion at this location.
Archaeologists working on the project kept reassuring the locals that there was something under the ground that would be of interest to them, but they were quite skeptical. It wasn’t until the physical shape of the pyramid began to take place in front of their very eyes, including the slopes, shapes, as well as the floors of the alter, that the locals began to take notice that something real was being uncovered.
So, how did archeologists pick this spot to search for a pyramid? On the hillside where the pyramid was located, there were ceremonial structures, as well as the discovery of ceramic fragments that alluded to the fact that a pyramid or possibly a temple could be found in the area. Mapping of the site didn’t start until 2004 and concrete evidence did not arise until exploratory trenches were created throughout 2005 and 2006. All theories were confirmed then.
As far as cultural responsibility and interest goes, there are two interested parties that can claim ties to this site. Holy Week rituals were held here at a structure that was created during the pre-Hispanic area. The history of the pyramid includes the reenactment of the Passion of Christ during 1833. The Iztapalapa culture, which is now a neighborhood filled with low-income inhabitants, used this site to pay respects for protection against the spread of cholera. Today, this area is dotted with squatter settlements.
Every year, thousands come to view this ritual, where a wooden cross is erected close to the site of the buried remains of the Teotihuacan temple. A chosen man portrays Christ and he can be seen tied to the cross during the ceremony. Since Good Friday approaches, archeologists will cover the excavation pits so that those visiting the area to enjoy the ritual, will not be tempted to unknowingly damage the structure.
On each side of the pyramid, it measures at about 500 feet. According to scientists, it is 60 feet tall and believed to have been created about 500 A.D. 300 years later, it was left behind by the now-extinct Teotihuacan culture. Archeologists note that half of the original pyramid has been destroyed due to the Christ reenactments that have taken place at the location. To further protect the pyramid, which has also been damaged by area housing, a periphery fence will be built. It is the hope that this will stop people from entering the site with vehicles, which causing more damaging of this interesting find.