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Robot Aids In Discovery Of Three New Burial Chambers Located Under Temple Of Quetzacoatl

Apr 24, 2013 12:40 PM EDT

Robotics have long played a helpful role in medicine and manufacturing; however, a new discovery made by the robot Tlaloc II-TC shows just how crucial the new technology can be in the field of archaeology.

Named after the Aztec god of rain, the three-foot robot discovered three burial chambers that have laid hidden for years under the famous temple of Quetzacoatl near the Pyramid of the Sun.

The site is part of the massive archaeological site Teotihuacan, which is home to a complex of ancient ruins including the Avenue of the Dead, the Pyramid of the Moon and the Feathered Serpent Pyramid among other sites.

Archaeologists first discovered the 2,000-year-old tunnel that led to the discovery in 2010, at which point lead scientists Sergio Gomez speculated that it likely led to the ruler’s tomb.

“There is a high possibility that in this place, in the central chamber, we can find the remains of those who ruled Teothuacan,” he said at the time, according to the Associated Press.

However, the pathways were densely packed with mud and rubble that had to be cleared before further exploration was possible.

Tlaloc II-TC was lowered into the tunnel equipped with a video camera and mechanical arms for clearing rubble.

Even with expectations as high as they were, Gomez said the team was stunned when the robot sent back images of not just one, but three burial chambers.

According to “El Universal,” the layout is similar to that found beneath the Pyramid of the Sun, which was explored in the 1970s.

So far, approximately 250 feet of the tunnel leading to the newly found tombs has been cleared, with 100 feet yet to go.

Gomez said he and his team intend to follow their robot soon with the first task being that of clearing out the area for exploration.

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