printer friendly iconemail a friend icon
Field Notes
Photograph by George Grall
Jesús Eduardo López Reyes

What was your best experience in the field covering this story?

The best find of the project is a mosaic figure, the only such figure ever found. It was a big moment to be the only journalist to witness that discovery. The archaeologists made a gypsum cast to excavate it. They were so gentle with it, and the looks on their faces were filled with excitement. It was a real privilege to be there.

What was your worst experience in the field covering this story?

Working inside the pyramid was very difficult. The team erected steel scaffolds so that no one would step on the burials. But in my case, I had to maneuver on the scaffolds with my cameras, flashes, meters, gaffer's tape, and other equipment.

One of the scariest moments happened when I was trying to attach a light to the scaffold with a heavy roll of gaffer's tape. I was above a beautiful skeleton of a puma. I slipped a little, and when I grabbed the scaffold, I dropped the roll of tape. It fell about a quarter inch (half a centimeter) from the puma. I gasped. The bones were so fragile that the tape could have crushed the skull. I climbed down quietly, picked up the tape, and went outside to catch my breath. I needed a drink of tequila after that.

What was your quirkiest experience in the field covering this story?

Most of the time in Teotihuacan, you find remains stretched out with their hands tied behind their backs, or you find them with flowers, which is beautiful. But the archaeologists found 12 bodies in burial number six, ten of which were without heads. They were just thrown in and jumbled together. When you discover a mess of bones, it forces you to imagine what happened the day these people died. I've been inside many burials and it doesn't bother me to see skeletons, but this was very impressive. It gave me the creeps.