The New York Times
October 21, 1998

          Human Remains in Mexico Pyramid

          By The Associated Press

          TEOTIHUACAN, Mexico (AP) -- Archaeologists have found a human
          skeleton and many artifacts inside the Pyramid of the Moon, once the
          biggest ceremonial center of pre-Colombian Mexico.

          The skeleton was discovered in a structure buried by the later
          construction of the pyramid, which served as a platform for a high altar --
          not as a tomb in the Egyptian style.

          The excavations since June showed that the step-type pyramids, made
          most of tamped earth, loose rocks and an outer layer of mortared stone,
          may have been built over an earlier civilization before the mysterious

          ``It could be very important, once we find out more,'' Saburu Sugiyama, a
          Japanese-born archaeologist from Arizona State University, said
          Tuesday. ``The skeleton -- bones, but in a very good condition -- was
          found buried in a sitting position, facing south.''

          Sugiyama said the skeleton is still half buried. Its gender and age have not
          been determined, but he estimated it could date to 100 A.D. to 150

          ``It must have belonged to somebody important, because of the amount
          and quality of funeral offerings surrounding it,'' he said. Around 150
          artifacts have been found in the tomb -- figurines, ceramics, statuettes,
          jade carvings, and obsidian.

          The obsidian objects included arrow and spear heads and very finely
          ground, small obsidian knives that could have been used to sew cloth.

          Sugiyama is one of an international team of archeologists exploring and
          mapping the pyramid. Involved are the University of Tokyo, the National
          Autonomous University of Mexico, the University of the Americas in
          Mexico and the National Institute of History and Anthropology.

          They are also financing the project jointly, together with the National
          Science Foundation of the United States, Ruben Cabrera Castro,
          coordinator of the project, told a news conference.

          Sugiyama said the tomb was discovered by accident about 10 days ago.
          The team is digging low tunnels at the bottom of the pyramid from north to
          south and from west to east to find out what is inside the structure.

          The Pyramid of the Moon is located at the upper end of the Avenue of
          the Dead, which runs north-to-south in Teotihuacan. Further south, on the
          eastern edge the avenue, is the much taller Pyramid of the Sun.

          And at the lower tip of the avenue is the temple of Quetzalcoatl, the
          sacred plumed serpent. To one side of it, decorated with elaborate stone
          carvings, is a cluster of low buildings known as the ``Great Complex.''

          Teotihuacan, in the valley of the same name 30 miles north of Mexico
          City, was a thriving city and ceremonial center that predated the Aztecs
          by several centuries.

          But very little is known about it. Investigators have found the pyramids
          and buildings close by, artifacts, a few pictographs, but no hieroglyphs or
          other writings of any kind.

          Teotihuacan began declining sharply around 650 AD, and was completely
          deserted by around 750 AD. No one yet knows why.