Aztec Gold Treasure Found Beneath Street in Mexico City

Aztec Gold Treasure Found Beneath Street in Mexico City


Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History announced the findings of new tests of the bar in a statement Thursday, a few months before the 500-yr Anniversary of the battle that forced Hernan Cortes and his soldiers to temporarily flee the city on 30 June 1520.

A day earlier, Aztec Emperor Montezuma was killed, or possibly assassinated, according to the native informants of one Spanish chronicler, which promoted a frenzied battle that forced Senor Cortes, his fellow Spaniards as well as their native allies to flee for their lives.

A year later, Senor Cortes would return and lay siege to the city, which was already weakened with supply lines cut and diseases introduced by the Spanish invaders taking a toll.

The bar was originally discovered in Y 1981 during a construction project some 16 ft underground in downtown Mexico City – which was built on the ruins of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan where a canal that would have been used by the fleeing Spaniards was once located.

The bar weighs about 2 kg (4.4 lb) and is 26.2 cm (10.3 ins) long, 5.4 cm (2.1 ins) wide and 1.4 cm (0.5 in) thick.

A fluorescent X-ray chemical analysis was able to pinpoint its creation to between 1519-1520, according to the Mexican scientists, which coincides with the time Senor Cortes ordered gold objects stolen from an Aztec treasury to be melted down into bars for easier transport to Europe.

Historical accounts describe Senor Cortes and his men as heavily weighed down by the gold they hoped to take with them as they fled the imperial capital during what is known today as the “Sad Night,” or “Noche Triste,” in Spanish.

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Paul Ebeling

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