Archaeologists Unearth 500-Year-Old Aztec ‘Starfish Altar’Mexico Believed to have Been Dedicated To War


Mexico City archaeologists made an astonishing discovery last year. They found a 500-year-old Aztec altar decorated with shells, 164 starfishes, and it was 500 years old.

The artifact, which dates to around the year 1500, was found at the Templo Mayor Archaeological site in Mexico City.

A particular type of starfish is featured in the ceremonial structure, which is known as “chocolate chip sea stars.”

Their skin resembles that of jaguars, with their black and mottled orange bodies. Jaguar bones were also found at the altar, as Mexico is home to these big cats.

Archaeologists believe that the altar was dedicated to war because of its jaguar motifs and location within Templo Mayor. 

The arrival of Spanish forces and Hernan Cortes in 1519 would see the Aztecs in conflict with each other, threatening their civilization.

Their descendants now have to find the traces of that civilization.

In this case, that means researchers at Templo Mayor will be examining each of the altar’s 160 or so starfish, to learn more about their forebears.

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