Dating Results From Excavations in Quarry Tunnels Behind the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan


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Ancient Mesoamerica

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In this article we summarize the results of an ongoing project designed to study the tunnels and caves of Teotihuacan, emphasizing those findings derived from the excavation of four extraction tunnels located immediately to the east of the Pyramid of the Sun. In particular, we present radiocarbon and obsidian-hydration dates from the Cueva de las Varillas, where 13 Mazapan-phase burials were found and which has substantial evidence for a post-Teotihuacan occupation. In addition, the Cueva del Pirul has produced evidence of another 14 human burials, which were predominantly children, as well as complete dog skeletons, in a context clearly related to underworld symbolism. After the fall of Teotihuacan, these underground cavities excavated into tezontle continued to provide space for the practitioners of Tlaloc and fertility cult activities. In Aztec times, they were living spaces, and given the lack of space on the surface, this was a function that they served well into the twentieth century.

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