Sanctuary on side of Mexican volcano could be universe model
The Iztaccihuatl volcano is photographed from a Mexican Navy aircraft on a volcano monitoring mission in Mexico, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, January 3, 2018 5:30PM EST
MEXICO CITY - Mexican archaeologists say they have excavated a stone sanctuary in a pond on the side of a volcano east of Mexico City that may have been built as a miniature model of the universe.
The National Institute of Anthropology and History says the remnants of the stone "tetzacualco" were in the centre of a natural pond below the Iztaccihuatl volcano at an elevation of nearly 13,000 feet.
In addition to the sanctuary, decorative pieces associated with the rain god Tlaloc were found nearby.
Archaeologist Iris del Rocio Hernandez Bautista says some Mesoamerican creation myths hold that the earth monster Cipactli floated on primeval waters and then split itself, thus creating the heavens and earth. She says the site at Nahualac could emulate that idea.