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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine