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Dedication stone from the Templo Mayor

Templo Mayor dedication stone (Aztec)

Dedication stone from the Templo Mayor, 19th. February 1487, Mexica, diorite, height 92 cms., National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City.

This magnificent stone is one of the oldest archaeological monuments in the National Museum of Anthropology. The carving in green diorite is one of the most exquisite examples of the work of Mexica sculptors. The composition is dominated by the date 8 Reed, corresponding to the year 1487.
The more complex image on the upper section shows the seventh ‘tlatoani’ [ruler] Tizoc (reigned 1481-86) on the left and Ahuitzotl (reigned 1486-1502) on the right. As befits great warriors, they are offering a sacrifice by perforating [piercing] their earlobes. The streams of blood running down their faces fall into the mouth of Tlaltecuhtli, goddess of the surface of the earth, where the entire ritual unfolds...

(Adapted from the British Museum Moctezuma exhibition catalogue, p. 53).

Photo by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore