Thousands of Aztec offerings found below Mexico City

STORY: Thousands of Aztec ritual offerings have

been discovered beneath Mexico City

off the steps of a temple that would have been the empire's holiest shrine

The findings provide new insight into Aztec

religious traditions and political propaganda

The offerings were sealed five centuries ago into stone boxes

They included starfish, coral, spears, an eagle, and

a sacrificed jaguar with copper bells tied to its ankles

(Leonardo Lopez Lujan, Lead Archaeologist)

“They sacrificed these super-predators, dressed them all up as warriors, put weapons on them, put military-related insignia on them, and then buried them in big public ceremonies probably witnessed by thousands of people. They buried them here at the foot of the main temple."

Researchers believe there is a precious

artifact hidden underneath the jaguar

But it will take at least another year of digging to uncover it