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Almena

Aztec clay almena, Museo del Templo Mayor

Clay almena, Mexica (Aztec), early 16th century, height 233 cms., Museo del Templo Mayor, Mexico City, found in the sacred precinct.

The roof of the ‘calmecac’, the priestly school, was decorated with many of these ‘almenas’. They represent the cross-section of a sea shell. The cut shell was one of the symbols of Quetzalcoatl, the patron god of knowledge and learning.

From Aztecs, eds. Doris Kurella, Martin Berger and Inés de Castro, with INAH, Mexico - catalogue for the exhibition Azteken, Linden Museum, Stuttgart, Hirmer Publishers, Germany, 2019, p. 326.

Photo by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore.