The team from Mexico’s National Institute for Anthropology and History also found the foundations of Aztec homes, hundreds of small figurines, and pots and plates dating from 1100 to 1500 AD, on the eve of the Spanish conquest, along the 15-mile (24-km) subway line, due to open in 2012 in southern Mexico City, home to about 20 million people.
“In total there are 60 graves, 10 adults and around 50 children of different ages, some two or three years old,” archeologist Maria de Jesus Sanchez told Reuters.
The graves, found scattered in excavation areas since builders began digging the subway line in September 2008, reflect burial practices of the Aztecs, who often interred their dead relatives underneath their homes.
The Aztec empire, with its capital in modern-day Mexico City, held sway over a large part of Mesoamerica for about a century until the arrival of the Spanish.
Deceased children were often placed in earthen vessels before burial in the belief that the jars would resemble the mother’s womb and keep them warm.