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World 14th-Century Steambath Discovered In Mexico City

00:35  24 january  2020
00:35  24 january  2020 Source:   gizmodo.com.au

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A native American sauna has been discovered in Mexico City dating back to the 14 th century . The so-called 'sweat lodge' was found at an archaeological site in the neighbourhood of La Merced in Mexico City . It is believed the room was used to purify the body of locals in various circumstances

As a means of recording the passage of time, the 14 th century was a century lasting from January 1, 1301, to December 31, 1400. It is estimated that the century witnessed the death of more than 45

a large waterfall next to a rock wall: Remains of the steambath found beneath Mexico City. (Image: INAH)© Image: INAH Remains of the steambath found beneath Mexico City. (Image: INAH)

Archaeologists in Mexico City have uncovered a pre-Hispanic steambath dating back to the 14th century. Its location in the city’s historic district confirms the whereabouts of a vibrant neighbourhood that once stood in Tenochtitlán—an ancient urban centre that eventually became Mexico City.

The 14th-century steambath, or temazcal as its known in the indigenous Nahuatl language, was discovered by archaeologist Víctor Esperón Calleja and his colleagues from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), according to the institute’s press release. The domed structure is located near La Merced in Mexico City beneath Talavera Street. The temazcal was constructed in the 14th century and was likely used for medicinal and spiritual purposes and even childbirth, reports Mexico News Daily.

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The history of Mexico , a country in the southern portion of North America, covers a period of more than three millennia. First populated more than 13,000 years ago

14 th - century establishments by country. 2nd-millennium establishments in Mexico . 14 th - century establishments in North America. Hidden categories: Commons category link is on Wikidata.

The INAH archaeologists also found evidence of a post-colonial house that was inhabited by an indigenous family of noble descent, as well as the remnants of a tannery that was in operation during the 18th century.

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14 th . Centuries in Mexico City . 18 th century by city .

► 14 th - century establishments in Mexico ‎ (1 C, 2 P). Pages in category " 14 th century in Mexico ". The following 2 pages are in this category, out of 2 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).

Fuelled by the natural hot springs underneath, the temazcal included a tub (basically a pool of water) and a bench for sitting, and the structure was made from blocks of adobe and stucco-coated volcanic rock known as tezontle, according to the INAH archaeologists. Occupants who sat or bathed within the domed structure, which measured 5 meters (16.5 feet) long and 2.98 meters (9.8 feet) wide, could luxuriate and cleanse themselves in the warm steam.

Importantly, the discovery of this temazcal confirms the location of Temazcaltitlan, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Tenochtitlán, the Mexica capital that eventually became Mexico City.

The discovery also confirms written accounts describing the sweat lodge. Writing in his Crónica Mexicáyotl, Hernando Alvarado Tezozómoc, a Nahua nobleman, described a Tenochtitlán temazcal that was built to bathe and purify a noble Mixiuhca girl named Quetzalmoyahuatzi, and how other townspeople were also welcome to partake in the steambath, according to INAH. Calleja, the leader of the archaeological expedition, said the discovery provides tangible evidence of the temazcal, while also affirming the spiritual and cultural importance of the Temazcaltitlan neighbourhood.

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A pre-Hispanic sauna, dating back to the 14 th Century , has been uncovered by archaeologists in Mexico City . The remains of the sweat lodge, built with blocks of adobe and volcanic rock, still had its central part. where the tub or pool for the steam bath was located, according to Mexico 's National

14 th . 16 th century in Spanish colonial Mexico — the center of the Viceroyalty of New Spain in North America and the East Indies. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mexico in the 16 th century . Subcategories.

a man standing in front of a large rock:  INAH archaeologist Víctor Esperón Calleja stands next to a tannery that was in use during the last century of Spanish rule. (Image: INAH)© Image: INAH INAH archaeologist Víctor Esperón Calleja stands next to a tannery that was in use during the last century of Spanish rule. (Image: INAH)

Indeed, evidence gathered prior to this discovery suggested as much, pointing to this location as a place where female deities, including the gods of purification, steambaths, fertility, water, and childbirth, were worshipped, explained Calleja in the press release. Interestingly, residents of Temazcaltitlan also worshipped deities associated with pulque—a pre-hispanic alcoholic drink made from agave and other plants.

To the west of the site, the INAH team found traces of a house likely inhabited by an indigenous family of noble descent, as evidenced by floors made from adobe blocks and walls decorated with red motifs. The archaeologists dated the house to the Early Colonial Period (1521 to 1620). They also found the remnants of a former tannery (a leather manufacturing shop) that was in operation during the New Spain period (1720 to 1820). The tannery likely sourced its leather from cattle slaughtered at a nearby abattoir, according to the researchers.

Looking ahead, the INAH team is hoping to learn more about the neighbourhood and the people who lived there.

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