Museo del Templo Mayor

Mexico City, Mexico, 24 August 2016

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel

Wall of skulls.

In the previous post, we visited the remains of the Templo Mayor, the main temple of Tenochtitlan.  In this post we see some of the objects that archaeologists discovered during their excavations.

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel .

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel .

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel

I didn’t photograph the label for this one but I recall that thios recreates these objects as they were found.

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel .

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel .

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel .

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel

Relief of Tlaltecuhtli.

This relief represents Earth god, Tlaltecuhtli, in its feminine version. The goddess has her back towards the front, with her head turned over and upside down, and she is in the natural squatting childbirth position. She has curly hair on her head, lipless mouth and a skull tied to her waist; in the joints (elbows and knees) she has faces shaped as claws, similar to the one on the knife coming out of her mouth.

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel .

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel .

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel .

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel

Tlaloc Brazier.

This brazier represents God Tialoc with tears coming out of his eyes, showing the symbolic relationship of tears with rain. It is a faithful Aztec copy of braziers produced four centuries before by the Toltecs. The Aztecs frequently visited the ruins of Tula, abandoned around 1150 AD, to extract burials, offerings, sculptures and other traces of the religious buildings considered to be magic, since they were the work of the magnificent people of Quetzalcoatl.

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel

Olmec Mask.

This piece shows the typical Olmec features and two perforations on the back side which probably were used to hang it up.  Its presence in the Templo Mayor shows the veneration which the Aztecs had for antiques, since the Olmec tradition flourished in Mesoamerica between 1200 BC and 400 BC.

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel

Pot with an image.

This is an imitation of the plumbate ceramic of the Soconusco region, shared nowadays by the Mexican state of Chiapas and the Republic of Guatemala.  The face captured on the pot corresponds to an elderly person and possibly represents the god of fire, Xiuhtecuhtli.  The Aztecs may have taken it from Teotihuacan, a sacred city for them, where similar objects have been found.

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel

Jade mask.  No label but I wnder whether it’s Mayan.

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel

Eagle Warrior.

Natural sized ceramic sculpture representing an Eagle Warrior.  It retains remains of the stucco that covered it, simulating feathers of the authentic suits. The Eagle Warriors and the Jaguar Warriors were the two most important sections within the Aztec army.  The Eagles were associated with the Sun and the Jaguars with the Earth and night.

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel

Mictlantecuhtli, God of Death.

Ceramic sculpture representing Mictläntecuhtli, God of Death, conceived by the Aztecs as a half-gaunt being in a position of attack, with claws and curly hair, probably placed using the holes he has in his head. The liver hangs under his
thorax, because according to Aztec beliefs, this internal organ was closely related with Mictlan or the Underworld, place where this deity resided.  One of a pair from the reign of Montezuma I (1440-1469 A.D.).  The Aztecs used to offer blood to them.

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel .

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel .

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel

This is not a small piece in a display cabinet, this is massive, covering the central area of the ground floor, taken looking down from the second floor (third floor for Americans).

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel

Tlaloc Pot’

Ceramic pot modeled with a high relief figurehead of Tialoc’s face, the god of rain. The Aztecs conceived it formed by two serpents intertwined at the nose and joining their heads face to face at the mouth. in this case, such serpents can be seen through the bands with vertical lines and alternate circles located over the eyebrows, eyes, nose, and around the mouth. It belongs to Stage IV (1440-1469 A.D.).

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel .

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel .

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel

Stage II Chacmool.

Replica of the original chac mool located in front of Tlaloc’s temple corresponding to Stage II of the Templo Mayor (1375- 1427 A.D). Most of its attributes were modeled in stucco or outlined with black, white, blue, red and ocher paint; in addition, a mass of tar was adhered to its face simulating a rough nose. The same attires and insignias distinguishing this sculpture are the ones the god of rain has in the native pictographs in the Central region of Mexico.

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel

Puma.

The puma (puma concolor) is one of the big cats with wide distribution in what is currently the Mexican Republic. In the past it was even in the temperate forests surrounding the basin of Mexico.

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Archaeology, Aztecs, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, Travel

Chicomecoatl.

This ceramic vase shows an image of Chicomecoatl, the goddess of ripe com and of maintenance in general, and is decorated in a Cholula polychrome style.  She is characteristically depicted as attired in red with corn cobs in her hands.  The cover of the vase shows Tlaloc, god of the rain, pouring water.

The vase contained numerous stone objects: over three thousand beads, figurines and a mask covering them, which presumably surround the vase. It  dates to 1469-1481 AD.

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4 comments on “Museo del Templo Mayor

  1. In the stage II Chacmool, he looks totally surprised.

    Like

  2. […] Tlaltecuhtli, Museo del Templo Mayor. […]

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