ASU In the News

Original sacrificial offering discovered at Teotihuacan

A recent article by the Boston Globe reported that archaeologists have dug to the center of the largest of the three massive pyramids belonging to Mexico’s Teotihuacan and found what may be the “original ceremonial offering placed on the site of the Pyramid of the Sun before construction began.”

Teotihuacan, or “where divinity comes into being,” was one of the largest cities in the world in the fifth century A.D., long before the Aztecs. At its peak, the city housed upwards of 100,000 people. It is one of the most visited archaeological sites in the world, and includes the ruins of three massive pyramids, believed to have been used for ceremonial purposes.

The discovery of this ceremonial offering includes a green serpentine stone mask, sacrificial rabbits, unidentified felines and canines and seven burials, some of which are infant remains.

ASU's George Cowgill, who is recognized worldwide as one of the leading minds on Teotihuacan, was quoted as saying, “The discovery of seven humans suggests that they were probably sacrificial victims, along with several species of fierce animals.” He also commented that the important discovery could add to the debate about which god the pyramid was originally intended to honor.

Cowgill is a professor emeritus in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He helped establish the ASU Teotihuacan Research Laboratory and has researched and conducted fieldwork at the site since 1964. Due to his longstanding dedication, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History dedicated its Fifth Teotihuacan Round Table to Cowgill in October of 2011 and invited him to be the keynote speaker.

Article Source: Boston Globe
Rebecca Howe

Communications Specialist, School of Human Evolution and Social Change