Tikal

Tikal, Peten, Guatemala, 27-28 August 2016

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This is a mixed infrared and normal post.  The images have labels and some further information, mainly from information boards, while a stream of information about Tikal follows underneath.  This latter stream may relate to quite different periods than the images and comments on the images.

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Probably Templo 1 from the rear.

Tikal is one of the main Mayan cities from the Classic Era.  It is about 64 kilometres north of Flores.

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A “palace”, generally presumed to be a royal living and administration area, but without much firm evidence.

About 100 kilometres NNW of Tikal is El Mirador, an even more ancient site with what according to some calculations is the largest pyramid in the world.  Normally you have to walk in through the jungle, a day each way though I suspect little of the city has been reclaimed from the jungle.  I was intending to fly in by helicopter but it did not eventuate.

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A ball court in front of the palace.

There are traces of agriculture at Tikal from 1000 BC.

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Templo 2.

“Also known as Temple of Masks, Was built around the year 700 AD, by the ruler Jasaw Chan K’awiil l, as a mortuary monument for his wife, Kalajuun Une ‘Mo’.”

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Tikal was built on a series of limestone ridges, with swampland between and with interconnecting causeways.  The causeways made pedestrian ways during time of heavy rainfall and doubled as dams.  The buildings used limestone quarried on site and the holes this created were lined and used as ten great reservoirs for times of drought.

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The Great Plaza (into the sun).  Templo 1 and the North Acropolis at the left.

A burial was found under Templo 1.  It may be that there are others under all the pyramids.

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Templo 2.

The “founder” of the dynasty at Tikal was Yax Moch Yox (“First Scaffold Shark”), sometime in the first century AD, though there were other rulers before him.

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Templo 2.

The earliest date found on a stela at Tikal is 292 AD.

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A wall area containing traces of a relief.

The first well-documented king is Great Jaguar Paw, who reigned from 317 to 378 AD.  Large scale building occurred during his reign.

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Templo 1 on the left, Templo 2 on the right and North Acropolis in the distance, taken from the Central Acropolis.  This is the main ceremonial area but there would have been few trees 1600 years ago.

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In 378 AD, Great Jaguar Paw was overthrown and killed by Smoking Frog who was a foreigner, coming from Teotihuacan, the giant city-state near Mexico City today.  The invaders from Teotihuacan brought new military technology and organisation and also conquered some of the neighbouring cities.

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Templo 1.

“Temple 1 (also known as the Temple of Ah Cacao or Temple of the Great Jaguar) is a funerary pyramid dedicated to Jasaw Chan K’awil, who was entombed in the structure in AD 734, the pyramid was completed around 740–750. The temple rises 47 metres (154 ft) high. The massive roofcomb that topped the temple was originally decorated with a giant sculpture of the enthroned king, although little of this decoration survives.”

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Curl Nose became ruler to Tikal in 379 AD and reigned for 47 years, yet he was also referred to as the vassal of Smoking Frog while he was still alive.

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The top of Templo IV, the highest at 74 metres or 150 feet, and probably a yellow-naped parrot.

Curl Nose’s son Stormy Sky was Lord of Tikal from 411 to 456 AD.  He was half Mayan.  The invaders were becoming Mayans but Tikal had adopted elements of the Teotihuacan culture.

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Templo 3.  They didn’t have windows of course, that’s just to keep people out of the chamber.

“Also known as Temple of the Jaguar Priest, because of the threshold figure inside the temple, this temple relates to the last phase of construction at Tikal. Its construction is estimated circa 810 and by reference that exists in a fragment of Stela is associated with the ruling Nuun bak Chaak II, who is considered the thirty-first ruler of, the dynastic sequence and is represented on the Lintel 2 of this temple.”

Tikal’s influence expanded greatly in Stormy Sky’s reign.  It directly controlled an area about 25 kilometres around and had a sphere of influence reaching 100 kilometres or more.

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People ascending the Central Acropolis.  Templo IV above the jungle at the horizon.

Stormy Sky was buried in the North Acropolis, in this image at middle left in the distance and obscured by foliage.

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Similar view, showing a bit more of the Central Acropolis.

A female became ruler of Tikal in 511 at the age of six, co ruler with Curl Head and then Bird Claw.  She is known as “The Lady of Tikal” because the stela that mentions her is incomplete and does not show her name.

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Templo 3.

The next ruler, Double Bird, may have been her son.  He ruled from 537 to 562 and came to an unfortunate end, along with much of Tikal.  This was also a period of the decline of Teotihuacan, Tikal’s faraway ally.

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A giant mask on a wall.

Calakmul is another Mayan city, 30 kilometres north of the Mexican border, so vaguely 130 kilometres north of Tikal.  It was bigger than Tikal and had many more stelae but we know little about it because the stelae have weathered away due to the inferior quality of the limestone used there.

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A stela depicting a ruler.  You may need to click on it to make it out at a larger size.

Calakmul had been an ally of Tikal but early in the reign of Double Bird, Tikal launched an “Axe War” against Calakmul and captured and sacrificed a prominent noble, probably after ball court rituals.  Reigning lords were expected to capture and sacrifice the head of another state early in their reign to prove their power but this was to prove a particularly unfortunate choice.

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Maybe a ball court marker.  Glyphs around the outside but hard to make out detail.

In 562, Calakmul overran and devastated Tikal and no doubt took Double Bird away for ritual sacrifice.  Tikal was then eclipsed for over a century while Calkmul prospered.

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The Bat Palace.

“A palatial complex that has several rooms with benches in its interior, distributed in two galleries on the first floor and on gallery on the second floor.  On the rear wall of the rooms are windows that provide views to the West.”

Slowly, Tikal regenerated itself and was becoming more prosperous under Shield Skull from 650 to 679, although he had to flee from a Calakmul raid to Palenque in 657 and after returning to Tikal, was eventually taken and sacrificed by them in 679.

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Gran Pirámide, Plaza of the Lost World, one of the oldest remaining parts of Tikal.

“Known as the main structure of the Lost World.  It stands 32 metres (105 ft) high.  This four-sided structure has staircases on all sides.  During the Preclassic period, around 300BC, this pyramid and its squared platform formed an astronomical observation unit.”

Shield Skull’s son Hasaw Chan Ka’wil brought about the re-emergence of Tikal as a great power.  He came to the throne in 682, raised many stelae and altars, and embarked on a program of reconstruction in the Great Plaza and the North Acropolis.

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Temple of the skulls, Plaza of the Lost Worlds.

“The Temple of the Skulls (Templo de las Calaveras in Spanish) is the third largest temple in the Mundo Perdido (Lost World) complex. A new version of this temple was superimposed upon a preceding version during the 7th century AD. This new version faced away from the Mundo Perdido and possessed a single room with five doorways that faced onto the adjacent Plaza of the Seven Temples to the east. Around AD 700, this version was sealed and a new version was built on top, at which time it became one of the highest structures in the Mundo Perdido. This version of the structure had a four-level platform with an access stairway interrupted by a vaulted niche, as was the architectural style prevalent at Tikal during this time. The base of the niche was adorned with three sculpted skulls, one facing forwards and the two flanking skulls in profile.”

Hasaw Chan Ka’wil was convinced that he was destined for greatness because his reign commenced 256 years after that of Stormy Sky, the most powerful year of Tikal.  This was significant in the Mayan long count of time, and represented the same point in another cycle.

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Plaza of the Seven Temples (and following images).

Empowered by this vision of greatness, he went to war against Calakmul and in 694, he defeated them and captured and sacrificed their Lord, Jaguar Paw.

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He ruled from 682 to 734 and won further successes against Calakmul, which was eclipsed politically.  Templo 1 is also his tomb.  His son Yikin Chan Kawil constructed the temple on top of his tomb.

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Yikin Chan Kawil also constructed the massive Templo 4.  His successors put up Templos 3 and 6 and much of what we see today is from the end of the era of Tikal.  This is partly due to the practice of building new structures on top of old ones.

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Further conflicts between Tikal and Calakmul are recorded until the mid 740s, then both states slowly faded away.

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Most of the area of the Lowland Maya, mainly in Guatemala and Belize, was abandoned by around 900.  The most plausible theory is overpopulation coupled with severe years of prolonged drought.

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Jungle.

 

A remnant population may have persisted at Tikal up to around 1000, but it was then abandoned to the jungle for the next 1,000 years.

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Plaza of the Seven Temples.

“This is an important part of socio-political activity of the Tikal inhabitants of the Late Classic. At the northern end of the complex there are three ballgame courts, which in turn frame the north end of a large rectangular plaza. On the east side, there are seven temples aligned from north to south, the central temple presenting larger dimensions and the roof comb still preserved.”

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Around 3,000 separate structures have been recorded in the 16 square kilometres that form the heart of the city.  About 10,000 people lived there.  There was also a much wider area that was part of the city which overall supported around 50,000 to 60,000 inhabitants.  At the height of Tikal’s power, around 500,000 people lived in its area of influence.

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Plaza of the Seven Temples.

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While superficially, the swamps around the city might seem unsuitable for agriculture, they had a complex system of canals and sophisticated practices to make this possible.

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Templo 5.

“One of Tikal’s highest temples, reaching a height of 57 meters, dated to the early part of the Late Classic period. The structure consists of a pyramidal base with seven stepped bodies, with rounded corners. On the façade it has a wide staircase with balustrade. During the investigations it was possible to establish that it has no substructure, which means it was built from the beginning to the top of the crest in a single chronological moment around 650 AD making it one of the earliest in Tikal.”

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There is a great expanse of jungle in the former Mayan lands of Northern Guatemala, Southern Mexico and Western Belize.  There are many unexcavated Mayan cities and no doubt many as yet undiscovered.  These are potentially threatened by plunder of ancient sites and exploitation of the rainforest region.  They are all under some kind of heritage protection but governance is weak and funding scarce.

The Mayan people of course survive and particularly retain independent communities in Guatemala.  2012 saw the beginning of a great long count cycle and the beginning of a new one.  In tradition Mayan terms we would be entering a period of renewal for the Mayan people.

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La Blanca

La Blanca, Peten, Guatemala, 27-28 August 2016

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This is a mixed infrared and normal post.

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This is our ultra-luxurious transport for a trip into the Guatemalan jungle, with my photographic pack on the tray on the right.

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We were heading for Nakum, another ancient Mayan city, and a rival to Yaxha.  (At least I’m pretty sure it was Nakum, there is some possibility it may have been Naranjo).

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But we got to a place where there was no point going further.  It was not so much that the truck couldn’t get past this point, but if it was this bad here, it was going to be impossible later on.

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Here is an interesting chart from the Park Office at Yaxha that I visited later in the day.  It’s very inaccurate, though.  If you include the Minoan Civilisation with Ancient Greece, that goes back to say 2600 BBC.  El Mirador goes back to at least 1750 BC.  Chichen Itza survived to about 1250 AD.  There seems to be no reason to terminate the Byzantine Empire at 950 AD instead of 1453.  And the people of Topoxté moved to Zacpeten, where they lasted until 1697.  It does show the extraordinary length of the Mayan civilisation though. The Incas and Aztecs are ephemeral in comparison.  And it roughly equates to the whole Graeco-Romano civilised period from Crete to the fall of Byzantium.

Here also is some text “translated” from that notice board on the three periods of Mayan Civilisation….

HISTORICAL PERIODS OF MAYAN CIVILIZATION
PRECLASSIC PERIOD (1800 BC to 250 AD)
Ceremonial centers were created, ruled mainly by religious beliefs, and writing, plastic art, the cultivation of sciences and the development of monumental architecture began to be developed, such as the Acropolis with pyramids decorated with masks and friezes on their facades, which express the cult to the ancestors and the complexes of astronomical commemoration.
CLASSIC PERIOD (250-900 AD)
The Classic period marked the time of the flowering in all the orders of the most important cities of the central Petén. At this time the development in the agriculture implemented the irrigation systems and communal crops, increasing their relations with other Mesoamerican peoples. The technology increased and the political organization was tightly consolidated to the religion.
POST-CLASSICAL PERIOD (900-1524 AD)
At this time there is a cessation of political and cultural activities in the large cities of the central area, many of which are abandoned, a fact that has led to multiple interpretations of the events that might have led to this cultural decline commonly known as “collapse.”

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Since our morning expedition was abandoned, we instead went to La Blanca.

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Sometimes the light shifted and it looked quite different.

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Though small compared to Yaxha, still impressive in its own way.

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This and following images are at the Acropolis Complex, the Royal Palace.

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La Blanca was adjacent to fertile land that flooded in the rainy season.  There was also a huge reservoir for periods of drought and chultuns, or underground storage chambers for additional insurance.

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It was mainly an administrative centre and a place of trade, with not so much emphasis on religion.

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It dates from the Early Classic to the Early Postclassic, so around 250 to 1200 AD.  La Blanca is likely to have been a client state of either Yaxha or Naranjo.

 

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Graffiti on the wall of the “Oriental Palace”.  (You may need to look closely or click on the image for a larger view).  A deer at the right, at frog at bottom left.  possibly a human at top left.

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Another “palace” view..

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A butterfly on the ground at La Blanca.

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Passing the wetlands on the way back….

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Back at the ecolodge, this is a Rainbow-billed toucan.

 

Note to Lib Ferreira:  I said the Tikal post was the last one.  Actually it’s the next one, comoing out in the next day or so.

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Museo del Templo Mayor

Mexico City, Mexico, 24 August 2016

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Tenochtitlan Today

Mexico City, Mexico, 24 August 2016

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A model of the Plaza Mayor and Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan.  Behind it is an idealised painting by Luis Covarrubias (20th Century) of the cities of Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco on the island on Lake Texcoco.  The model is more realistic than the painting.

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Here we see a close-up of Templo Mayor.

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The temple was rebuilt seven times.  On each occasion, the old temple was completely covered in a casing of mud and stone, and a new temple constructed around it.  On five other occasions, only the main facade was expanded.  When each new building was opened, war captives from kingdoms conquered specifically the the event were sacrificed.

Also, the city suffered ongoing flood and earthquakes and the island subsoil was constantly settling, forcing them to raise the level of their pavements.

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Some of it is still there.  This massive serpent must be as shown at bottom right in the previous image of the model.  it dates to the reign of Axayacatl (1469-1481)..

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Likewise, this is probably the serpent head from the lower middle of the model.

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

After the fall of Tenochtitlan in 1521, two conquistadors, the Avila brothers, built houses on the ruins.  However, in 1566. they were arrested for conspiring against the Spanish Crown, along with Martin Cortes, the half-indigenous son of Hernan Cortes.  The Avila brothers were executed but Cortes was merely exiled to Spain.  The property remained abandoned for many years and was used as a rubbish dump.  Much later, it was granted to a University but construction never acrually happened.  Consequently, more survives than one might think, especially in the middle of a huge city.

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

This chac mool, still showing some of its original colouring, lay outside the entrace to a shrine to Tlaloc, the rain god.

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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

The next few images data to around 1500AD.

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

Here you can see the different levels of pavement built up to counteract the sinking of the city.  This is of course a critical problem today, with the city subsiding 10 metres in the last century.

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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

Banquette (bench) in the House of the Eagles.

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

Altar Tzompantli, alluding to Mictlampa, the region of the dead.

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

Somewhat like Venice, building foundations were made by driving stakes into the lake bed or the surface of the island, secured by stone and mud.

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

The Cathedral is in the distance.

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Central Mexico City

Mexico City, Mexico, 22-24 August 2016

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel

We were staying in the middle of Mexico City at the Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico (Grand Hotel of Mexico City) which is at the Zocalo, the central square of the city.  I was impressed by the French art nouveau styling and the stained glass canopy, created in 1908.

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel

On our first night it was raining and this was a view from the end of a corridor near our room.

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel

The Catedral Metropolitana, at the north end of the square, through the rain.

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel

After visiting Frida Kahlo’s house, we returned to the hotel and then set off for the Museo de Templo Mayor.  On the way, we walked across to the eastern side of the Zocalo and visited the Palacio Nacional.  It was originally the Palace of Montezuma II and Cortes rebuilt it as a fortress.  It was rebuilt again after it was burned in the Hunger Riots of 1692.  The Aztecs had a carefully planned system to divert spring water so that Tenochtitlan was surrounded by fresh spring water rather than turgid lake water.  That also made surrounding agricultural land highly productive.  The Spanish understood none of this and destroyed the canal system, undermining the local environment and ultimately leading to the hunger riots.

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel

This is Diego Rivera’s grand mural of Mexican history around the main staircase. You may need to click on it to see the detail, which includes representations of Frida Kahlo, Karl Marx and John D Rockefeller in the left panel.

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel

More murals by Diego Rivera, showing the pre-Columbian era and post-conquest.

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel

This series of murals was never finished.

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel

An internal courtyard showing the scale of the building.

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel

From the Palacio Nacional we walked through the colourful streets of Mexico City towards the Museo de Templo Mayor.

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel

(The remains of the main temple of Tenochtitlan (the Templo Mayor) and our visit to the Museo de Templo Mayor follow in the next two posts).

 

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel

In the morning of our last day in Mexico City, we had time to visit the Museo Nacional de Arte.  You look up at this in the main hall.

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Architecture, Art, Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Arte, Palacio Nacional, Photography, Street photography, Travel

Looking up in one of the staircases, you see this much older spectacle.

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Frida Kahlo’s House

Mexico City, Mexico, 24 August 2016

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Frida Kahlo (self-portrait).

I presume that everyone reading this knows who Frida Kahlo was, but if you don’t or would like more information, have a look at this brief online biography.

These images are from a visit to the house that Frida grew up in, lived in for many years with Diego Rivera and died in.  It is now a museum.

..Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Puppet theatre near the front door.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Painting by Diego Rivera.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Frida Kahlo.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Bedroom of Leon Trotsky during his exile in Mexico and of Diego Rivera towards the end of his life in the house.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Dining room.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Same view, but a wider angle with a fisheye lens.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Staircase to the upper floor and recess with family portraits.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Frida’s Studio.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Frida’s bedroom.

An image I saw showed butterflies on the wall.  Perhaps they were removed because they were not there while she was alive.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Toys of Frida’s infancy.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Courtyard garden.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Extension designed by Diego Rivera.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Pyramid displaying pre-Hispanic pieces.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Dresses that she wore.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Jewellery and clothing items.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Dresses.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Undergarments.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Apparatus to hold her together.  She had polio at 6, suffered lielong severe back injury from a traffic accident when she was 18 and had a leg amputated due to gangrene a year before she died.

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Poem by Patti Smith.  Perhaps difficult for some to read so it goes:

Naguchi’s Butterflies

I can not walk

I can not see

further than what

is in front of me

I lay on my back

yet I do not cry

transported in space

by the butterflies.

 

Above my bed

Another sky

with the wings you sent

Within my sight

all pain dissolves

In another light

Transported thru

Time

by the butterfly

 

This little song came to me

like a little gift as I stood

beside the bed of Frida.

I give it to you

with much love,

Patti Smith

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Architecture, Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, History, Mexico, Mexico City, Photography, Travel

Meso-American assemblage in the courtyard.

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Pebble Island Homestead

2nd to 3rd November 2015. Pebble Island, Falkland Islands.

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel

This is a distant view of the Pebble Island Homestead, as we return on the late afternoon of the 2nd.

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel

In the late afternoon light, and it might have been a spring tide, these South American Terns were diving for some marine food source in the waves…

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel

Next morning I was due to fly out and I got up early, I think before breakfast, to photograph the old farm buildings.  There is very little farm activity going on these days and little explanation required of these images.

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel.

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Falkland Islands, History, Landscape, Nature, Pebble Island, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Trivial milestone:  I estimate that with this post there are 10,000 images in this blog.  In a couple of posts, if you printed all those images out on A4 paper and stretched them end to end, they would make three kilometres of prints.  There are also over 260,000 words, enough for a 575 page book even without the images.

Note:  Posts may slow down for the next few weeks.  I will be working on images from the Thredbo Blues Festival 2017 and though I have a few Falklands posts ready, I have yet to start on South Georgia.
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