Ancient Pyramid Found at Mexico City Christian Site

April 6, 2006

Archaeologists have discovered a huge, 1,500-year-old pyramid in Mexico City, according to an announcement yesterday.

The same people who built the pyramid also constructed Teotihuacan, a long-abandoned settlement about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Mexico City.

Teotihuacan (tay-o-tee-hwah-KAHN) is known as the City of the Gods and is Mexico's biggest ancient city, according to news reports on the newfound pyramid.

"All of us who are working at Teotihuacan are extremely interested [in this discovery]," said Ian Robertson, an anthropologist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

"It's kind of rare to get to look at what Teotihuacanos were doing outside [their] capital city."

The pyramid on the outskirts of Mexico City measures about 500 feet (152 meters) on each side and stands 60 feet (18 meters) tall. It was discovered beneath a site used today for a popular reenactment of the Crucifixion of Christ during Christianity's Holy Week, the week before Easter, according to news reports.

(See a map of Mexico.)

The pyramid was carved out on a hillside around A.D. 500 and abandoned around A.D. 800. The Teotihuacan culture collapsed at about the same time.

(Related news: "New Digs Decoding Mexico's 'Pyramids of Fire.'")

"When they first saw us digging there, the local people just couldn't believe there was a pyramid," Jesus Sanchez, an archaeologist with the National Institute of Anthropology and History, told the Associated Press.

"It was only when the slopes and shapes of the pyramid, the floors with altars were found, that they finally believed us."

Ceremonial Damage

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