Indeed, the myth of Huitzilopochtli's birth, possibly represented on the stone slabs, reads like a cosmic drama.
The story goes that the goddess of the earth and fertility Coatlicue (Serpent-skirt) was mysteriously impregnated by a ball of feathers while sweeping the temple atop the cosmic mountain, Coatepec (Serpent Mountain).
Upset that their mother had become pregnant, her four hundred male children, the star gods, and their sister Coyolxauhqui, the goddess of the Moon, plotted to kill both her and the unborn child – who was nothing less than the god Huitzilopochtli.
Springing from Coatlicue's womb fully grown and armed with a serpent made of fire, Huitzilopochtli decapitated and dismembered Coyolxauhqui and killed one by one his 400 brothers.
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Depictions of serpents abound in the carvings. Eight of them are represented with their mouth wide open, while a star warrior carrying his chimalli (shield) and a weapon for shooting darts is visible on other stone slabs.
Other stones show lines perhaps symbolizing blood spurts, a beheaded man wearing a feather headdress with an earflap, and a captive on his knees. He has his hands tied behind his back, while a tear falls from his eye.
The archaeologists aim to continue the excavation to determine whether any offering was laid beneth the stones.
Image: Serpent plaque; strip of floor with stone carvings; kneeling captive plaque. Credit: National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).