AUGUST 3, 2007


Mexican archeologists using ground-penetrating radar discovered the underground chambers bearing the remains of Emperor Ahuizotl, who ruled the Aztecs at the time when Columbus landed. It was the first tomb of an Aztec ruler ever found. The 8th king of the Aztecs, his name meant “Water thorny.” It was under his reign (1486–1502) that the Aztec empire reached its zenith. Succeeding his brother, Tizoc, to the throne, he conquered tribes as far south as present-day Guatemala and along the Gulf of Mexico. With his conquests, the capital city, Tenochtitlán, grew to such an extent that Ahuizotl had another aqueduct built. He built the great temple of Malinalco as well. Ahuizotl is also known for having occasioned the greatest orgy of human sacrifice in Aztec history in dedicating his new temple at Tenochtitlán in 1487. Over 4 days, prisoners in 4 lines extending over 3 miles were marched up to the altar to have their hearts torn out. The cause of Ahuizotl’s death in 1502 is disputed.

  Mark Stevenson, “First tomb of an Aztec ruler may have been found,” Los Angeles Times (, 8/5/2007.  Retrieved 1/25/2022, First tomb of an Aztec ruler may have been found - Los Angeles Times (
“Ahuitzotl,” Britannica.  Retrieved 1/25/2022, Ahuitzotl | Biography, Reign, & Facts | Britannica
Image:  Author and date unknown.  Image of The Aztec ruler Ahuizotl in the Codex Mendoza [a mid-16th century Aztec codex]. Public Domain.

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