Mexican researchers have made a fascinating discovery that has sent chills down the spines of both locals and archaeology enthusiasts alike. They claim to have found evidence of an entrance to the Zapotec underworld, known as Lyobaa, hidden beneath a church in the ancient archaeological site of Mitla, Oaxaca.
Using advanced geophysical methods including Ground Penetrating Radar, Electrical Resistivity Tomography, and Seismic Noise Tomography, the team was able to create accurate 3D models of the underground structures. These models confirmed the existence of underground chambers, tunnels, and various archaeological structures, including the Palace of the Columns and tombs.
The discovery aligns with the accounts of Dominican father Francisco de Burgoa, who described the ruins in 1674. According to his writings, there was a vast subterranean temple consisting of interconnected chambers, with a stone door leading to a deep cavern. The priest’s descriptions also mentioned pillars supporting the temple’s roof.
The most intriguing finding was a large void beneath the main altar, which seemed to be connected to other geophysical anomalies. Electrical tomography revealed two passages entering the main void, matching the descriptions from the priest’s accounts. Legend has it that despite other entrances being blocked, there was an entrance beneath the main altar of a Catholic church. The researchers have identified a possible blocked-up entrance in that location.
There are five groups of buildings at the Mitla site, and the team intends to carry out additional research in September with a focus on the remaining buildings in the West and the South. The National Autonomous University of Mexico, the Association for Archaeological Research and Exploration, and the Mexican National Institute of History and Anthropology are partners on this ongoing project.
This revelation has astounding ramifications. If there were a real entry to the underworld of the Zapotecs, it would be a remarkable monument to their ideas and cosmology. Anyone eager to explore would surely experience an unsettling and spine-tingling atmosphere because of the pull of the unknown and the potential for going into the underworld. A greater understanding of Zapotec culture and spiritual beliefs may be revealed by exploring the enigmatic depths underneath the chapel in Mitla.
As researchers continue their investigations, the world eagerly awaits further updates on this remarkable discovery, pondering the possibility of an actual entrance to the underworld and the mysteries it may hold.