Secret tunnel found 30 feet below the Pyramid of the Moon in Mexico’s Teotihuacan ruins may have been built to ‘replicate the underworld’


Archaeologists at Mexico’s Teotihuacan ruins site say they have found evidence that the city’s builders may have dug a secret tunnel under the Pyramid of the Moon.

It goes from the Pyramid to the central square, which it is believed was used for human sacrifices and other rituals in front of an estimated 100,000 people.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History says researchers used a CT scans to discover the tunnel about 30 feet (10 meters) below the surface of the plaza in front of the pyramid.


Other tunnels have been discovered at Teotihuacan, and one at Temple of the Plumed Serpent has been explored.

The new tunnel runs from the center of the Plaza de la Luna to the Pyramid of the Moon, in the Teotihuacan.

The tunnel may have been filled with offerings, they believe.

‘The finding confirms that Teotihuacans reproduced the same pattern of tunnels associated with their great monuments, whose function had to be the emulation of the underworld,’ said the archaeologist Verónica Ortega, director of the Integral Conservation Project of the Plaza de la Luna.

CT scans were made last June by a team of experts headed by Denisse Argote Espino, of the Directorate of Archaeological Studies of INAH.

He said the preliminary images suggest a straight cavity ten meters deep that would go from the center of the square to the Pyramid of the Moon.


However, he added that further processing of the data is required to obtain a better definition of the features below the surface.

Archaeologist Veronica Ortega, deputy technical director of the Teotihuacan Archaeological Zone, said that if confirmed, the tunnel could have been the ’emulation of the underworld’, where the origin of life, plants and food were recreated.


The Pyramid of the Moon was named by the Aztecs who discovered Teotihuacan centuries after the original inhabitants and builders had left the area.

The second largest structure in the ancient city, the Pyramid of the Moon is elevated by the land at higher ground and is the highest point in the complex, looking over a plaza below.

Twelve small pyramid platforms surround the Plaza of the Moon, believed to be to allow thousands of the early residences to witness sacrificial rituals


Built between 1 and 350 AD through successive stages, the Pyramid grew to forty six meter (150 feet) high with a base of 168 meters (550 feet) square.

The earliest human sacrifice appears to be around 200 AD.

Tombs in the pyramid contain both animal and human sacrifice as well as grave objects made of obsidian and greenstone.

A tomb marking the fourth construction stage held a single male buried alive- wounded with his hands tied behind his back – and jaguar, wolf and puma skeletons and over 400 relics.

It was dedicated to The Great Goddess, the ruler of water, earth, fertility and creation.

The tomb marking the fifth stage of construction contains four human skeletons and other ritual offerings.


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