An Aztec Temple Emerges in Heart of Mexico City

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Credit Henry Romero/Reuters

The remains of a major Aztec temple are coming to light in downtown Mexico City, on a nondescript side street just behind a colonial-era Roman Catholic cathedral and on the grounds of a 1950s-era hotel.

The site is near the Templo Mayor, another massive Aztec ruin. The excavations, begun in 2009, reveal a section of what was the foundation of a huge circular temple dedicated to the Aztec wind god Ehecatl and a part of a ritual ball court.

Archaeologists have also found 32 severed male neck vertebrae in a pile just off the court — probably sacrifices linked to the Aztec ballgame.

Some of the original white stucco remains visible on parts of the temple, built during the 1486-1502 reign of the Aztec emperor Ahuizotl.

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