Maya and Aztec

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations

Pyramid in Pino Suarez metro station undergoes intervention

Category: News reports

INAH, April 27, 2009. The Ehecatl pyramid, the smallest archaeological zone in Mexico, is located in the Pino Suarez Metro station in the Mexico City Historical Center, making it one of the most visited in the country, although the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) does not consider it a proper archaeological zone, due to its size and the fact of being located in a Metro Transport System facility.

The Ehecatl shrine will undergo a conservation and restoration process that will last 3 weeks. Raul Arana Alvarez is the INAH archaeologist in charge of the intervention, and was part of the team that found it in 1968. He declared that maintenance includes general cleaning, restoration and substitution of stucco, structure consolidation and whitewashing.

Samuel Ayala Luevanos, Metro User Attention manager, informed that between 150,000 and 200,000 users circulate everyday through the station, which represents a risk for the structure. Pino Suarez station reaches annually 54 million visits, being one of the busiest among the 175 metro system stations.

Ehecatl, the Mexica wind deity, had its shrine in an great ceremonial center located on what today is Izazaga Avenue; it was conformed of a large patio, staircases on 3 of its sides, several sanctuaries at the center, dwelling cells connected by exterior hallways, and walls that formed an access corridor from Iztapalapa roadway to Tenochtitlan.

Most structures were affected during the Metro construction, but this monument could be rescued due to its location and conservation state. Offerings were found inside the 1400 structure.

The figure known as “La Monita” was part of the offerings; it is a rare carved figure, painted in red and black, that carries the Ehecatl mouth mask; 2 serpents are part of the sculpture, one coiled at the base and other that becomes the tail.

The INAH Archaeological Studies Direction keeps the files regarding the excavation and rescue that began in 1967, headed by the Catalonian archaeologist Jordi Gussinyer, the historiography of every element found and its exact location during the Metro construction.

One of the temple characteristics is that it has 4 structural construction stages, as Templo Mayor, and it counts on a circular base that functioned as a pedestal for the deity placed at the top.

The file’s documentation is being actualized; new screens and informative showcases are being placed at the sides, and a graphic exhibition is being planned for the second half of 2009, which will show the chronology of the site to present.

Source: INAH.

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