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SCIENCE FILE | In Brief

Aztec ruins found in Mexico City

August 04, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Archeologists have discovered what they think are the ruins of an Aztec pyramid razed by Spanish conquerors in what is now one of Mexico City's most crime-ridden districts.

Construction workers unearthed ancient walls in the busy Iztapalapa neighborhood in June, and government archeologists said Wednesday they believe they may be part of the main pyramid of the Aztec city, destroyed by conquistador Hernan Cortes in the 16th century.

Using ground-penetrating radar, scientists have detected underground chambers they believe contain the remains of an emperor.

An Aztec ruler's tomb has never been found, in part because the Spanish conquerors built their own city atop the Aztecs' ceremonial center, leaving behind colonial structures too historically valuable to remove for excavations.

One of those colonial buildings was so damaged in a 1985 earthquake that it had to be torn down, eventually giving experts their first chance to examine the site off Mexico City's Zocalo plaza.

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