Mexico City is built on the site of the original Aztec capital, and some of the Aztec structures are still preserved. Most notable is the Pyramid to the Sun, in the Aztec city of Teotihuacan.
The ring I mention was a sterling silver ring with a black obsidian in the shape of an Aztec mask. Obsidian is a volcanic stone, and Mexico City is directly on the "Ring of Fire", the edge of the Pacific tectonic plate where most of the world's volcanos are located. It isn't surprising that obsidian is easily found there, nor that the Mexicans use it extensively in their costume jewelry. They are also excellent silversmiths... but let's leave that for next week.
In case anyone isn't convinced of the volcanic activity in the area:
- Remember our Halloween night at Paracutin, a then-active volcano east and north of Mexico City.
- Just south and west of the city are two major volcanos, Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl. Iztaccihuatl is dormant, but Popocatepetl is still active, and erupts from time to time -- including just three days before I wrote this.
- Earthquakes are a perennial problem in Mexico. Last month, Oaxaca, west and south of Mexico City, experienced an 8.1 quake. Last week, a 7.1 quake killed almost 300 people, most in Mexico City itself.