Monday, May 13, 2013

México: Robot Used to Capture Archaeological Data at Teotihuacan

According to The Latin American Tribune, an electronic robot that weighs just 25 kilos (55 pounds) is helping scientists explore the deep interior of Teotihuacan, an archaeological complex located some 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) north of Mexico City.

The robot is being used to investigate a tunnel built by Teotihuacan’s residents under the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, the third-largest pyramid at Teotihuacan, leading archaeologists to expect an important discovery.

COMMENT: This is only the second time a robot has been used at the site and only the third time in history, following the use of a similar apparatus in Egypt to explore one of the Great Pyramids.

The Tlaloc II robot, which was named after the Aztec god of rain and fertility, uses a camera and scanner to provide an exact picture of the condition and shape of the tunnel, according to Hugo Armando Guerra, one of the engineers who designed the robot.

Increasingly, robots are being used in archaeology in order to permit investigation into hazardous, difficult-to-get-to areas of a site. 

The investigative project to explore the 103-meter (337-foot) tunnel under the Temple of the Feathered Serpent began in 2010.