HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Science » Science (Group) » The Great Aztec Temple

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 12:35 AM

The Great Aztec Temple

FROM THE APRIL 2018 ISSUE
The Great Aztec Temple
Archaeologists analyze ruins in the heart of Mexico City.
By Bridget Alex



Temple 7.0
The temple began as a modest structure in the 1300s, but as the Mexica, the ethnic group that came to rule the Aztec Empire, amassed wealth and territory, they enlarged the monument. By the time Spaniards arrived in 1519, Templo Mayor had undergone six major renovations, becoming a 10-story pyramid, with earlier structures nestled inside. This latest and greatest phase is the most poorly preserved: Only fragments of the floor remain because the Spanish razed the temple for materials to build their colonial city.
DEA PICTURE LIBRARY/De Agostini/Getty Images

In 1978, utilities workers digging in Mexico City unearthed a colossal stone relief, depicting an unmistakable figure: the Aztec goddess Coyolxauhqui, naked, dismembered and decapitated, after being slain by her brother, Huitzilopochtli, the god of sun and war. Archaeologists realized the carving must be part of Templo Mayor, the Great Temple of the Aztec Empire, known to lie somewhere below the city center based on colonial-era accounts and previous limited digging projects.

The setting had deterred earlier archaeological investigation because the Aztec ruins were buried under functioning buildings, some erected in Spanish colonial times, themselves protected as historic landmarks. However, the Coyolxauhqui relief sparked such national excitement that archaeologists were permitted to embark on long-term excavations, first led by Eduardo Matos Moctezuma of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History.

The government initially allowed the team to demolish 13 buildings of limited historical value. Since then, excavations have continued in fits and starts, in collaboration with construction and maintenance projects. Today, remains of the main temple are exposed for visitors, right in the city center — a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“It’s a beautiful, lively Mexican scene where you’ve got modern Mexico City, colonial Mexico City and also pre-Columbian Mexico,” says Davíd Carrasco, a scholar of Mesoamerican religions at Harvard University. The site is so rich that research could “go on for another 100 years,” says Carrasco, who studies the temple. Some recent spectacular finds follow.

More:
http://discovermagazine.com/2018/apr/the-great-aztec-temple?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DiscoverLivingWorld+%28Discover+Living+World%29

2 replies, 642 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 2 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Great Aztec Temple (Original post)
Judi Lynn Sep 2018 OP
Nitram Sep 2018 #1
Nitram Sep 2018 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 10:50 AM

1. "the Spanish razed the temple for materials to build their colonial city"

Actually, the first thing they did was fill in the lake with the rubble of buildings they destroyed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2018, 10:52 AM

2. "depicting an unmistakable figure: the Aztec goddess Coyolxauhqui, naked, dismembered and

decapitated, after being slain by her brother, Huitzilopochtli..." This story is remarkably similar to that of the Egyptian Osiris, who was murdered and dismembered by his brother Set.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread