Sanctuary on side of Mexican volcano could be universe model

January 4, 2018
Sanctuary on side of Mexican volcano could be universe model
In this 2016 photo provided by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, INAH, researchers excavate a site on the shores of Nahualac Lagoon, at the foot of the Iztaccihuatl volcano in Mexico State, Mexico. Mexican archaeologists say they have excavated a stone sanctuary in a pond on the side of a volcano east of Mexico City that may have been built as a miniature model of the universe. (Isaac Gomez/INAH via AP)

Mexican archaeologists say they have excavated a stone sanctuary in a pond on the side of a volcano east of Mexico City that may have been built as a miniature model of the universe.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History says the remnants of the stone "tetzacualco" were in the center of a natural pond below the Iztaccihuatl volcano at an elevation of nearly 13,000 feet.

In addition to the sanctuary, decorative pieces associated with the rain god Tlaloc were found nearby.

Archaeologist Iris del Rocio Hernandez Bautista says some Mesoamerican creation myths hold that the earth monster Cipactli floated on primeval waters and then split itself, thus creating the heavens and earth. She says the site at Nahualac could emulate that idea.

Sanctuary on side of Mexican volcano could be universe model
In this 2016 photo provided by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, INAH, researchers stand on the shore of Nahualac Lagoon, at the foot of the Iztaccihuatl volcano in Mexico State, Mexico. Mexican archaeologists announced on Wednesday, Jan. 3 2018, they have excavated a stone sanctuary in the lagoon, on the side of a volcano east of Mexico City that may have been built as a miniature model of the universe. (Isaac Gomez/INAH via AP)

Sanctuary on side of Mexican volcano could be universe model
In this 2016 photo provided by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, INAH, the Iztaccihuatl volcano is seen at night in Mexico State, Mexico. Mexican archaeologists announced on Wednesday, Jan. 3 2018, they have excavated a stone sanctuary in Nahualac Lagoon, on the side of a volcano east of Mexico City that may have been built as a miniature model of the universe. (Isaac Gomez/INAH via AP)

Explore further: Original offering found at Teotihuacan pyramid

Related Stories

Original offering found at Teotihuacan pyramid

December 14, 2011

Archaeologists announced Tuesday that they dug to the very core of Mexico's tallest pyramid and found what may be the original ceremonial offering placed on the site of the Pyramid of the Sun before construction began.

Mexico volcano covers towns in ash

May 8, 2013

Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano has spewed ash over several towns in the central state of Puebla, just 55 kilometers (35 miles) southeast of Mexico City, but the country's capital was spared.

Giant Aztec earth goddess to show in Mexico City

May 19, 2010

The largest known monolith of Aztec earth goddess Tlaltecuhtli will go on show for the first time next month in Mexico City, the National Institute of Anthropology and History has said.

Recommended for you

Fat from 558 million years ago reveals earliest known animal

September 20, 2018

Scientists from The Australian National University (ANU) and overseas have discovered molecules of fat in an ancient fossil to reveal the earliest confirmed animal in the geological record that lived on Earth 558 million ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.