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Ancient wooden artifacts found underwater in Mexico

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  • minnesotastan
    (I don t have the original link. Credit to a previous poster of this material) IN EXTINCT VOLCANO, A RARE LOOK AT PAST Archaeologists diving into a lake in
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2007
      (I don't have the original link. Credit to a previous poster of this
      material)

      IN EXTINCT VOLCANO, A RARE LOOK AT PAST

      Archaeologists diving into a lake in the crater of a snowcapped
      volcano found wooden scepters in the shape of lightning bolts that
      match the description by Spanish priests and conquerors writing 500
      years ago about offerings to the Aztec rain god.

      The lightning bolts, along with cones of copal incense and obsidian
      knives, were found during scuba-diving expeditions in one of the twin
      lakes of the extinct Nevado de Toluca volcano, at more than 13,800
      feet above sea level.

      Scientists must still conduct tests to determine the age of the
      findings, but the writings after the Spanish conquest in 1521 have led
      them to believe the offerings were left in the frigid lake west of
      Mexico City more than 500 years ago.

      Lightning bolt scepters "were used by Aztec priests when they were
      doing rites associated with the god Tlaloc," said Johan Reinhard, an
      anthropologist and explorer-in-residence for National Geographic
      Society who took part in more dives recently at the Lake of the Moon.
      "We think it is pretty clear that the Aztecs considered this one of
      the more important places of Tlaloc."

      The research, which also involves the volcano's Lake of the Sun, is
      being led by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.
      Stanislaw Iwaniszewski, an archaeology professor at the institute,
      said Aztec iconography often associates Tlaloc with lightning bolts.

      "They were left in the lake to bring rainstorm," Iwaniszewski said.
      Copal incense was burned to form "clouds," and sharp spines from the
      maguey cactus, which does not grow at that altitude, indicated
      worshippers brought them there to draw blood from themselves as part
      of the sacrifice.

      Luis Alberto Martos, the institute's director of archaeological
      studies, said other artifacts found in the clear 32-degree waters of
      the lake indicate the ritual may have started about 100 B.C.— long
      before the Aztecs settled in the area in 1325.

      From The Charlotte Observer
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