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Massive Gold Bar Unearthed in Mexico Was Looted Aztec Treasure

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Practically 4 many years in the past, a development employee found a big bar of gold whereas excavating forward of development of a brand new constructing in Mexico Metropolis. Now, archaeologists have confirmed that this slab of gold was plundered from the Aztecs by Spanish conquistadors within the 16th century.

In the course of the evening on June 30, 1520, confronted with an Aztec riot and an absence of meals, Hernán Cortés and his followers stole an enormous cache of Aztec treasures and fled from Tenochtitlán (modern-day Mexico Metropolis), which the conquistadors had not too long ago conquered.

On that evening, identified to the Spanish as “La Noche Triste” or the “Night time of Unhappiness,” most of the Spanish troopers drowned when their vessel sank in a now dried-up canal that fed into Lake Texcoco. And with them sank most of the Aztec treasures they have been carrying — together with the large gold bar.

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In 1981, a development employee found the gold bar, weighing 4,255 lbs. (1,930 kilograms), whereas digging for the development of a central financial institution in Mexico Metropolis. Although the gold bar was discovered on the route that Cortés is assumed to have taken, nobody knew if it was really plundered Aztec treasure.

To reply that query, a bunch of researchers at Mexico’s Nationwide Institute of Anthropology and Historical past (INAH) and the Nationwide Autonomous College of Mexico (UNAM) not too long ago analyzed the gold bar utilizing X-rays. They discovered that the composition of the gold — round 76% gold, 21% silver and three% copper — matched the composition of different items of gold recovered by the Templo Mayor Venture, an INAH excavation of the primary temple utilized in Tenochtitlán. That implies that the gold doubtless belonged to the Aztecs. The gold discovered on the Aztecs’ Templo Mayor has much less copper than the gold belonging to the Maya or the Mixtec, based on a press release from the INAH.

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The gold bar matches items discovered across the monolith of the goddess Tlatecuhtli on the temple, which suggests the gold bar was doubtless forged at an identical time, someday between 1519 and 1520, based on the assertion. 

The bar is “a dramatic materials witness of the Spanish conquest and distinctive archaeological testimony of the so-called ‘Unhappy Night time,'” Leonardo López Luján, the director of the Templo Mayor Venture, stated within the assertion. It’s now on show on the Nationwide Museum of Anthropology in Mexico Metropolis.

Initially revealed on Reside Science.

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