Hundreds of mysterious yellow orbs discovered under Mexico’s Temple of the Feathered Serpent
Archaeologists excavating beneath Mexico’s Temple of the Feathered Serpent have discovered hundreds of mysterious yellow orbs.
Tunnels near the third largest pyramid in the pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan have been the focus of archaeological study ever since they were discovered in 2003.
The yellow spheres were uncovered when a remote-controlled robot carrying camera equipment was deployed to explore a series of winding and largely inaccessible chambers within the ancient pyramid ruins that are characterised by statues of strange serpent-like creatures.
"They look like yellow spheres, but we do not know their meaning," Jorge Zavala, an archaeologist at Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute, told ABC news of the find. "It's an unprecedented discovery."
The orbs measure between 1.5 and 5 inches and are believed to be covered in a yellow material called jarosite and to contain a core of clay.
The World Heritage Site, a city of pyramids located just 30 miles from Mexico City, is thought to have been established around 100 B.C and was inhabited by around 100,000 people at its peak before being mysteriously abandoned around 700 A.D.
The remote-controlled robot Tlaloc II-TC sent to explore the tunnels carries an infrared camera and a laser scanner that generates 3-D visualisation of the spaces beneath the temple, allowing it to access parts of the ruin which have not yet been excavated.
"A few months ago we found two side chambers at 72 and 74 metres from the entrance. We called them North Chamber and South Chamber,” archaeologist Sergio Gómez Chávez, director of the Tlalocan Project, told Discovery News.
"The robot was able to enter in the part of the tunnel which has not yet been excavated yet and found three chambers… We believe that high-ranking people, priests or even rulers, went down to the tunnel to perform rituals.”
George Cowgill, professor emeritus at Arizona State University, told Discovery News the find was “unique”.
He said: “Pyrite was certainly used by the Teotihuacanos and other ancient Mesoamerican societies. Originally the spheres would have shown brilliantly. They are indeed unique, but I have no idea what they mean.”
The walls of the tunnels are covered in a mineral powder made up of magnetite, pyrite and hematite. Gomez believes the tunnel was sealed twice by the Teotihuacan people and the access was blocked nearly two millennia ago in order to project something very important in the central chamber.
He believes the tunnels might contain the remains of those who ruled Teotihuacan and that the site is possibly one of the most significant archaeological finds in the region.
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Men in tights: getting to the bottom of the latest trend
City traders pay £200 for a quick hangover cure
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
Eight-year-old girl Camilla Lisant suggests possible cancer treatment to her scientist father over the dinner table
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 City traders pay £200 for a quick hangover cure
- 3 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...