MEXICO CITY — Researchers have found the real “zocalo” beneath Mexico City’s famous Zocalo plaza.

Officials in 1843 built a base, or “zocalo,” for an independence monument in the center of Mexico’s capital. But the monument was never built and the circular base was adapted to hold a fountain and a band shell. It all was later paved over.

In an odd twist of linguistic longevity, while the “zocalo” base itself was largely forgotten, its name lived on as that of Mexico City’s iconic huge central plaza, which has hosted historic speeches and tumultuous protests.

Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History revealed this week that workers ripping up 1950s paving uncovered the partial remains of the original monument base.

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