Aztec in the News ...

Have we found the resting place of Aztec rulers? Mexican tunnel that leads to sealed chambers could contain ancient royalty   Daily Mail - November 23, 2015
Tunnel was discovered in Mexico City's Templo Mayor ruin complex
Leads into a platform where dead rulers were believed to be cremated
The blocked-up entrances will be excavated in 2016, researchers said
May contain remains of Moctezuma I and successors, Axayacatl and Tízoc

Aztec Death Whistles Sound Like Human Screams and May Have Been Used as Psychological Warfare (Listen Here)   Epoch Times - December 26, 2014

When odd, skull-shaped grave items were found by archaeologists decades ago at an Aztec temple in Mexico, they were assumed to be mere toys or ornaments, and were cataloged and stored in warehouses. However, years later, experts discovered they were creepy death whistles that made piercing noises resembling a human scream, which the ancient Aztecs may have used during ceremonies, sacrifices, or during battles to strike fear into their enemies.

Ancient People of Teotihuacan Drank Milky Alcohol, Pottery Suggests   Live Science - September 15, 2014
Ancient pottery confirms people made and drank a milky alcoholic concoction at one of the largest cities in prehistory, Teotihuacan in Mexico, researchers say. This liquor may have helped provide the people of this ancient metropolis with essential nutrients during frequent shortfalls in staple foods, scientists added. The ancient city of Teotihuacan, whose name means "the city of the gods" in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs, was the largest city in the Americas before the arrival of Christopher Columbus. At its zenith, Teotihuacan encompassed about 8 square miles (20 square kilometers) and supported an estimated population of 100,000 people, who raised giant monuments such as the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon.

One-of-a-Kind Aztec Dog Burials Found in Mexico   National Geographic - February 18, 2014
Archaeologists in Mexico City have made an extraordinary discovery -- the skeletons of 12 dogs all mysteriously buried together more than 500 years ago, in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. Dog burials have been uncovered before at archaeological digs, but this is a first such finding not associated with a building or a human burial, according to a report published in Spanish last week by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

Aztec conquest altered genetics among early Mexico inhabitants, new DNA study shows   PhysOrg - January 31, 2013
For centuries, the fate of the original Otomí inhabitants of Xaltocan, the capital of a pre-Aztec Mexican city-state, has remained unknown. Researchers have long wondered whether they assimilated with the Aztecs or abandoned the town altogether. The answers may lie in DNA. Following this line of evidence, the researchers theorize that some original Otomies, possibly elite rulers, may have fled the town. Their exodus may have led to the reorganization of the original residents within Xaltocan, or to the influx of new residents, who may have intermarried with the Otomí population.

Pictures: "Important" Aztec Child Burials Found in Mexico City   National Geographic - August 1, 2012
Physical anthropologist Jorge Arturo Talavera Gonzalez examines 1 of 17 skeletons - including 11 child burials - unearthed recently in Mexico City. The remains, he said, offer evidence of a merchant neighborhood of an Aztec people known as the Tepanec, whose glory days were some 700 years ago. Found with the remains of a newborn baby in her arms, the woman pictured above must have died after giving birth, said Talavera González, who is affiliated with Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). Further analysis is required to pin down causes of death for the 17 burials, but holes in some of the skulls hint at human sacrifice. Around the bodies, experts also found an altar, fragments of rooms, and various ceremonial objects.

Aztec, Maya Were Rubber-Making Masters?   National Geographic - June 29, 2010
Ancient civilizations in much of Mexico and Central America were making different grades of rubber 3,000 years before Charles Goodyear "stabilized" the stuff in the mid-19th century, new research suggests. The Aztec, Olmec, and Maya of Mesoamerica are known to have made rubber using natural latex - a milky, sap-like fluid found in some plants. Mesoamerica extends roughly from central Mexico to Honduras and Nicaragua. Ancient rubber makers harvested latex from rubber trees and mixed it with juice from morning glory vines, which contains a chemical that makes the solidified latex less brittle.

Mesoamerican people perfected details of rubber processing more than 3,000 years ago: study   PhysOrg - May 24, 2010
The Aztec god, Xiuhtecuhtli, as one of the nine Lords of the Night, offers up rubber balls in this drawing. Spanish explorers encountering an advanced civilization in Mesoamerica in the 16th century had plenty of things to be astonished about, but one type of object in particular was unlike anything they had ever seen before: rubber balls. No such stretchy, bouncy material existed in the Old World, and they had to struggle to find words to describe it.

Untouched Tomb of Aztec King on Verge of Discovery?   National Geographic - July 13, 2009
After nearly 30 years in the field, archaeologist Leonardo López Luján may be on the verge of the discovery of a lifetime: the only known tomb of an Aztec king. An air of excitement has been thickening around Mexico's Templo Mayor (Great Temple) since 2006, when excavations near the temple revealed a stone monolith with a carving of an Aztec goddess.

  49 Aztec Warriors in Mass Grave   National Geographic - February 11, 2009
Archaeologists in Mexico City have discovered a mass grave of what may have been the last warriors to resist conquistador Hernán Cortés, who took the Aztec capital in 1521.

Aztec Math Decoded, Reveals Woes of Ancient Tax Time National Geographic - April 3, 2008
Today's tax codes are complicated, but the ancient Aztecs likely shared your pain. To measure tracts of taxable land, Aztec mathematicians had to develop their own specialized arithmetic, which has only now been decoded. By reading Aztec records from the city-state of Tepetlaoztoc, a pair of scientists recently figured out the complicated equations and fractions that officials once used to determine the size of land on which tributes were paid. Two ancient codices, written from A.D. 1540 to 1544, survive from Tepetlaoztoc. They record each household and its number of members, the amount of land owned, and soil types such as stony, sandy, or "yellow earth." "The ancient texts were extremely detailed and well organized, because landowners often had to pay tribute according to the value of their holdings," said co-author Maria del Carmen Jorge y Jorge at the National Autonomous University in Mexico.

Aztec Pyramid, Elite Graves Unearthed in Mexico City National Geographic - January 5, 2008
A structure believed to be an 800-year-old Aztec pyramid has been discovered in central Mexico City and could drastically revise the early history of the ancient empire, officials announced. The structure was found inside a larger pyramid known as the Grand Temple at the site of the Aztec city of Tlatelolco.