During an excavation mission in Mexico, a team of archaeologists stumbled upon a stone shrine dating back to the Aztec civilization. This shrine, which bears the name tetzacualco, was hidden on the bottom of a pond, and it appeared to display the universe as imagined by the ancient Aztecs. The discoveries were made on the Nahualac site, situated near the bottom of the Iztaccihuatl mountain.
The stone shrine was a representation of the universe
The archaeologists found a site which they assumed was dedicated to Tlaloc, the god of rain in the Aztec mythology. On the site, they discovered a lot of cult objects, including lapidaries, ceramics, but also some remains which could be human. However, the most remarkable object in the site was the stone shrine.
Researchers were fascinated by the arrangement in which the stones were placed. After a close analysis of the stones, they assumed it must have been depicting the Aztecs’ view of the universe. Also, the placement was so unique that it made the stones appear as if floating, instead of lying on the bottom of the pond. The research team thought this choice of location was not arbitrary at all.
“[The arrangement] suggests that the place is the representation of a primeval time and space, a miniature model of the universe.”
The placement and purpose of all the objects on the site was ritualic
According to the ancient myths of this civilization, there was no land when the world came into being. The earth and the sky were born later from the Earth monster, Cipactli, which was floating on the surface of water. Therefore, the stone shrine was placed on purpose on the bottom of the pond, and the visual effect it created was supposed to mark a ritual.
The site at Nahualac was divided into two important sections. The first one was the pond which hosted the stone shrine. Then, several hundreds of meters away, there was the place where all the cult objects were found. It was easy to identify their ritualic purpose judging from the decorations on the ceramic pieces, which were dedicated to the god of rain.
Image Source: PxHere