XIV century "house of burning stones" discovered in Mexico

XIV century "house of burning stones" discovered in Mexico
XIV century "house of burning stones" discovered in Mexico

During excavations in the historic center of Mexico City, Mexican archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 700-year-old temascal - a ceremonial steam bath, which the Aztecs called "the house of burning stones."

The discovery is reported on the website of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). It was made in Mexico City on Talavera Street. Previously, Temazkaltitlan was located here - one of the oldest districts of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztecs.

The remains of the object were found by archaeologists using instructions from ancient written sources. Temazcal is a steam bath of the Indians, a place not just for ablution, but for purification and reincarnation. It was considered divine.

Translated from the Aztec language, temazcal is "the house of burning stones." The Aztecs also called such objects "the place where the children of God are washed." They had a sacred meaning.

According to legend, the goddess washed her first child there, from whom the Aztecs descended. Therefore, all children born in Tenochtitlan were washed in the temazcal. By the way, the discovered object dates back to the XIV century, that is, it was built in the pre-Hispanic period.

Interestingly, archaeologists have found next to the bath the remains of a stone house, which probably belonged to a wealthy and very influential Aztec family. Perhaps she was identified with deities. Analysis showed that the dwelling was built in the early Spanish period. Presumably, the house was inhabited from 1521 to 1620.

In addition, the remains of a tannery were found. Apparently, the new authorities banned the indigenous people from using temazcal for religious ceremonies and adapted it for their needs. According to scientists, the tannery worked from 1720 to 1820.

Archaeologists note that the Aztecs very skillfully erected temazcal, using clay blocks - adoba. Also, during the construction, stone blocks of tecontli were used, which were covered with a layer of plaster on top.

In the central part, the remains of the pool are preserved, as well as one of the benches that were installed along it. The pool was five meters long and about three meters wide.

"The results of the study show that in the 16th century this area was more densely populated than previously thought," archaeologists write., which were used to lay the foundations of residential buildings."