For the past year, archaeologists have been working in a 2,000-year-old tunnel at the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan. The dig has yielded thousands of new relics and the discovery of three chambers that could hold more important finds.

First, a little bit of history. Established around 100 B.C., the city of Teotihuacan dominated central Mexico until 750 A.D. At its height, around the first half of the first millennium AD, it was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, with a population estimated at 125,000 — making it the sixth largest city in the world at the time. It began as a religious center, and came to be the most vibrant city in the New World. It's known for its architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids and its complex, multi-family residential compounds.

Today, it is an important archaeological site on the outskirts of Mexico City where researchers are still learning about this remarkable ancient city and its people.

Sergio Gomez and his team recently reached the end of a 340-foot (103 meter) long tunnel that was sealed some 2,000 years ago. They meticulously worked their way down its length, collecting relics like statues, seeds, pottery, sea shells, and animal bones.

A large offering was found near the entrance, some 59 feet (18 meters) below the Temple of the Plumed Serpent. The archaeologists suspect it could be a tomb of the city's elite. It's there where the rules acquired divine endowment allowing them to rule on the surface, say the researchers. Archaeologists have yet to find any remains belonging to Teotihuacan's rulers.

"We have not lost hope of finding that, and if they are there, they must be from someone very, very important," Gomez noted in a statement.

To date, the team has only excavated only about two feet (60 cm) into the newly discovered chambers. Further exploration will require another full year.

[ AP ]

Images: AP Photo/Proyecto Tlalocan, INAH/EPA.