Robot uncovers secret chambers beneath Mexican pyramid

24th Apr 2013

A robotic rover has been helping shed light on the archaeological secrets of an ancient Mexican pyramid.

The remote-controlled vehicle has spent months exploring the tunnels underneath the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, the third largest pyramid at Teotihuacan, a pre-Columbian site in central Mexico.

Archaeologists expected to find a single chamber at the end of a stretch of 2,000-year-old unexplored tunnel, but the mobile rover's footage has revealed three separate rooms.

The pyramid is also known as the Temple of the Feathered Serpent since its sides are covered with images of the Mesoamerican god Quetzalcoatl, depicted as a serpent in a feathery headdress.

The robot, named Tlaloc II-TC after the Aztec god of rain, was first lowered into the depths of the pyramid to check it was safe for human entry.

The Teotihuacan site's complex of pyramids, plazas, temples and avenues was once the thriving hub of a city of more than 100,000 inhabitants.

A tomb discovery would enthral the archaeological community because no depiction of a ruler, or the tomb of a monarch, has ever been unearthed, despite the fact most pre-Hispanic cultures deified their rulers.

"There is a high possibility that in this place, in the central chamber, we can find the remains of those who ruled Teotihuacan," archaeologist Sergio Gomez said.

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