By the 20th century, scholars had a good idea where to look for it. Ahuitzotl (Auitzotl) was an Aztec ruler who reigned between 1486... Huitzilopochtli (pron. This page was last edited on 17 November 2020, at 05:15. He finished some of the updates made by Tizoc and made his own; as shown on the carvings of the "commemoration stone of the huei teocalli", showing the two tlatoqueh celebrating the opening of the temple during the last day of the month Panquetzaliztli dedicated to Huitzilopochtli; day 7 acatl of the year 8 acatl (19 Dec 1487). A staircase with eight stone standard-bearers is from this stage bearing the glyph with the year Four-Reed (1431) These standard bearers act as "divine warriors" guarding the access to the upper shrines. [13] While Cortes left for Veracruz to confront Spaniards looking to arrest him, Pedro de Alvarado learned of a plan to attack the Spaniards, and staged a pre-emptive attack on the Aztecs in the Sacred Precinct while they celebrated a religious festival. This stone turned out to be a huge disk of over 3.25 meters (10.7 feet) in diameter, 30 centimeters (11.8 inches) thick and weighing 8.5 metric tons (8.4 long tons; 9.4 short tons). Templo Mayor was the principal sites of Tenochtitlan, the former capital of the Aztec empire. Some 600 years ago, the Templo Mayor stood 200 feet high in the center of the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. Room 5 is dedicated to Tlaloc, the other principal deity of the Aztecs and one of the oldest in Mesoamerica. It was at the time the largest and most important active ceremonial center. This discovery revived great interest in the Templo Mayor, the Great Temple of the Aztecs (Price & Feinman, 2013). Commonly known today as the Templo Mayor (Great Temple), its two tower-shrines soared high above a base measuring roughly 328 by 262 feet. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. Objects associated with human sacrifice are the "face blades" or knives decorated with eyes and teeth, as well as skull masks. The Spaniards were trapped between two Aztec forces and 68 were captured alive. In 1991, the Urban Archeology Program was incorporated as part of the Templo Mayor Project whose mission is to excavate the oldest area of the city, around the main plaza. Furthermore, 25 March, the Feast of the Annunciation, was in the Middle Ages commonly identified with the vernal equinox. The seventh and last temple is what Hernán Cortés and his men saw when they arrived to Tenochtitlan in 1519. The spire in the center of the adjacent image was devoted to Quetzalcoatl in his form as the wind god, Ehecatl. The Templo Mayor (Main Temple) in Tenochtitlan, capital of the mighty Aztec empire, was located in the center of the city, where the most important ritual and ceremonial activities in Aztec life took place.Standing about ninety feet high, the majestic structure consisted of two stepped pyramids rising side by side on a huge … Then over the centuries it was gradually built over and disappeared beneath 19th century CE colonial buildings in downtown Mexico City. Aztec Temple Pic. 02 Dec 2020. The offerings were usually contained in cavities, in stone urns, and in boxes made of slabs. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. Sacrificial victims were usually war captives but children were also sacrificed as their tears were considered a favourable link with the life-giving raindrops from Tlaloc. The museum has four floors, three of which are for permanent exhibitions and the fourth houses offices for the director, museum administration and research staff. [24], Another theme exhibited in this hall is autosacrifice, a ritual that was conducted in private as a personal act of communication with the gods. Templo Mayor. The field was located west of the Templo Mayor, near the twin staircases and oriented east–west. In contrast, the steps leading to Huitzilopochtli’s temple were painted bright red to symbolise blood and war. At the very same time, and with the typical Mesoamerican passion for duality, it was also a representation of Coatepetl, the sacred 'Serpent Mountain' where Huitzilopochtli vanquished the other gods. [3], Most of the objects found in the Templo Mayor were offerings. The priests who carried out this carnage, on occasion, ate the flesh of the victims, with the heart being the most prized, if it had not already been burned in offering to the gods. Adjoining this palace is the temple for these warriors—also known as the Red Temple. [24], The museum of the Templo Mayor was built in 1987 to house the Templo Mayor Project and its finds—a project which continues work to this day. Sacrifices could also take place to commemorate important state events. Due to the god's serpentine nature, the temple had a circular base instead of a rectangular one. These offerings were placed accompanied by complex rituals following set temporal, spatial and symbolic patterns, depending on the intention of the offering. During these five years, the platform was recovered in stucco and the ceremonial plaza was paved. One of the best preserved and most important is the Palace (or House) of the Eagle Warriors. He built three shrines and the House of the Eagle Warriors. This room contains various images of the god usually worked in green or volcanic stone or in ceramic. The Templo Mayor or Great Temple (called Hueteocalli by the Aztecs) dominated the central sacred precinct of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. The Templo Mayor was the most important structure at the centre of a large sacred precinct measuring 365 m (1,200 ft) on each side and surrounded by a wall which, because of its snake relief carvings, was known as the coatepantli or 'Serpent Wall'. This room contains various images of him as well as offerings. At the end of the festival, the image was broken apart and shared among the populace to be eaten. The most prized work is a large pot with the god's face in high relief that still preserves much of the original blue paint. [5], The sixth temple was built during the reign of Ahuizotl. The measurements in the Templo Mayor confirmed the veracity of this comment. It is considered as the most important temple in Tenochtitlan. His shrine at the temple was the most important and largest. Finally, the heads of victims were displayed on racks known as tzompantli which were set at the base of the pyramid. AZTEC TEMPLE 'TEMPLO MAYOR'. In fact, much of Mexico City was built over Tenochtitlan, but some original sites remain, including the Great Temple, known as Templo Mayor, which was the most important building in the city. [4], On the sides of the Templo Mayor, archeologists have excavated a number of palatial rooms and conjoining structures. The monumental steps leading to Tlaloc’s temple were painted blue and white, the former colour representing water, the element so strongly associated with the god. The temple was called the Huēyi Teōcalli [we:ˈi teoːˈkali][1] in the Nahuatl language. "Templo Mayor." Fray Bernardino de Sahagún reported that the Sacred Precinct had 78 buildings; the Templo Mayor towered above all of them. To enter this main room, one had to pass through an entrance guarded by two large sculpted representations of these warriors. [7], The Templo Mayor was partially a symbolic representation of the Hill of Coatepec, where according to Mexica myth, Huitzilopochtli was born. [10] According to these records, the first pyramid was built with earth and perishable wood, which may not have survived to the present time. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Between 1325 and 1519, the Templo Mayor was expanded, enlarged, and reconstructed during seven main building phases, which likely corres… However, the discovery did not generate great public interest in excavating further, because the zone was an upper-class residential area. One was dedicated to Tlaloc, the god of water on the left side (as you face the structure), and one to Huitzilopochtli, deity of war and of the sun, on the right side. "[18] Matos Moctezuma supports his supposition by claiming that the temple acts as an embodiment of a living myth where "all sacred power is concentrated and where all the levels intersect." Height: 60m/197ft The gods: Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc Distinctives: A double temple Completed: 1497 Materials: Built of stone and covered with stucco and polychrome paint Templo Mayor was a part of the sacred area of the city of Tenochtitlan, now … [20] The temple was actually a 60 m (180 ft) high pyramid platform with four tiers and two flights of steps on the western side leading to a summit with two twin temples or shrines, the whole structure being faced with lime plaster and brightly painted. [4], The push to fully excavate the site did not come until late in the 20th century. Inside of him were bags containing jade, bones and amulets to give life to the god. [5], The seventh and last temple is what Hernán Cortés and his men saw when they arrived to Tenochtitlan in 1519. The Tzompantli found during the excavations of Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan Aztec civilisation Mexico City Museo Del Templo Mayor. It was then discovered that the pyramid was in fact a succession of pyramids each built over a smaller predecessor and even the original primitive platform, dated with the aid of a stone hieroglyph to 1390 CE, was discovered. Other departments are located in the basement, where there is also an auditorium.[25]. Huit-zi-lo-pocht-li) or ‘Hummingbird... Tenochtitlan (also spelled Tenochtitlán), located on an... Tláloc (pron. The Pyramid was similarly built on an east-west axis so that when at the top of the stairway one would face the east and see both Mt. The museum exists to make all of the finds available to the public. Very little of this layer remains because of the destruction the Spaniards wrought when they invaded the city. Ten of these Spanish captives were immediately sacrificed at the Temple and their severed heads were thrown back to the Spaniards. https://www.ancient.eu/Templo_Mayor/. A temple dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, the war god, and to Tlaloc, god of rain and agriculture, dominated the Sacred Precinct of the great Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan. [4], Coordinates: 19°26′06″N 99°07′53″W / 19.43500°N 99.13139°W / 19.43500; -99.13139, Sacred Precinct and surrounding buildings, Museo de la Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público, List of pre-columbian archaeological sites in Mexico City, "EL RECINTO CEREMONIAL Y EL TEMPLO MAYOR Evolución de la Gran Tenochtitlan", "Model of the ceremonial precinct of Mexico-Tenochtitlan", "The tasks of exploration and restoration of the sculptures", "The morphology and the orientation of the images", Templo Mayor entry on The Visual History Project, Colegio de San Ignacio de Loyola Vizcaínas, Convent of Jesús María and Our Lady of Mercy, Parish of Jesús María and Our Lady of Mercy, House of the First Print Shop in the Americas, Museum of Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público, Palace of the Inquisition (Museum of Mexican Medicine), Colegio de San Pedro y San Pablo, now Mexico City (Museum of the Constitutions), Palace of the Counts of San Mateo de Valparaiso, House of the Count de la Torre Cosío y la Cortina, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Templo_Mayor&oldid=989126241, Buildings and structures demolished in the 16th century, Articles containing Spanish-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. "Templo Mayor." And so the Templo Mayor was part of this larger sacred precinct that included A chacmool was uncovered as well. The upper part of this temple has been excavated, exposing two stone shrines covered in stucco on the north side. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 05 Feb 2016. State funerals occurred at the site, notably the funeral cremation of three rulers: Axayacatl, Tizoc, and Ahuitzotl. This room contains urns where dignitaries where interred, funerary offerings, as well as objects associated with self and human sacrifice—such as musical instruments, knives and skulls. During excavations, more than 7,000 objects were found, mostly offerings including effigies, clay pots in the image of Tlaloc, skeletons of turtles, frogs, crocodiles, and fish; snail shells, coral, some gold, alabaster, Mixtec figurines, ceramic urns from Veracruz, masks from what is now Guerrero state, copper rattles, and decorated skulls and knives of obsidian and flint. Games were played barefoot, and players used their hips to move a heavy ball to stone rings. The discovery renewed the interest in excavating the ancient city of Tenochtitlan, underneath Mexico City. Last modified February 05, 2016. [9], The excavated site consists of two parts: the temple itself, exposed and labeled to show its various stages of development, along with some other associated buildings, and the museum, built to house the smaller and more fragile objects. The north (right) side shrine was dedicated to Tlaloc, the god of rain and the other, on the south (left) side, was dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, the god of war. Après la conquête espagnole, au XVIe siècle, l… [16], According to tradition, the Templo Mayor is located on the exact spot where the god Huitzilopochtli gave the Mexica people his sign that they had reached the promised land: an eagle on a nopal cactus with a snake in its mouth. Located at the centre of Tenochtitlan the Templo Mayor was the religious and social heart of the Aztec empire. The relief on the stone was later determined to be Coyolxauhqui, Huitzilopochtli's sister, and was dated to the end of the 15th century. The Eagle Warriors were a privileged class who were dedicated to the god Huitzilopochtli, and dressed to look like eagles. Its architectural style belongs to the late Postclassic period of Mesoamerica. When word of the massacre spread throughout the city, the people turned on the Spaniards, killing seven, wounding many, and driving the rest back to their quarters. [7], In his description of the city, Cortés records that he and the other Spaniards were impressed by the number and magnificence of the temples constructed in Tenochtitlan, but that was tempered by this disdain for their beliefs and human sacrifice. Mark is a history writer based in Italy. Although many are of Mexica design, there are also abundant items from other peoples, brought in as tribute or through trade. Let's take a look at some of the Aztec temples specifically: Templo Mayor. Huixachtlan and was used to light the sacred fire atop the Templo Mayor before being transferred to all subsidiary temples in the city.