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Holy Fixer Upper: Mexico’s First Cathedral May Have Been an Aztec Temple

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 04/14/16

Well, this is pretty interesting:

Archaeologists have found a heavy stone slab covering the tomb of one of the first Catholic priests in Mexico following the 1521 Spanish conquest, a grave sunk into the floor of what appears to be an Aztec temple. The discovery suggests the extent to which the Spanish reused the temples of the Aztec capital in the first years after capturing it. The huge slab was uncovered in recent days at the site of the now-disappeared first cathedral of Mexico City, built in 1524 yards from the current cathedral that replaced it in the 1620s. The nearly 2-metre-long slab was sunk into the same level of the stucco floor of what appears to be an Aztec temple. The cathedral was simply built over the temple and apparently used the same floor. The Spaniards apparently gave the floor only a thin coat of lime whitewash before using it for their church. “The Spaniards, Hernán Cortes and his followers, made use of the pre-Hispanic structures, the temples, the foundations, the floors,” said Raúl Barrera, an archaeologist for the government’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. “They even used the walls, the floors. They couldn’t destroy everything all at once.” The name of priest Miguel de Palomares was found carved on the slab. Archaeologists must still confirm it is his burial place, and hope to find his remains when they lift the stone slab in the coming weeks. De Palomares was a prominent priest who died in 1542 and was buried inside the old cathedral, apparently near an altar. Barrera said stones near one end of the slab appear to be part of that altar.

Read it all.  

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