General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 18 Apr 2021/2 Flower
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Aztec stone dog sculpture

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Professor Jennifer Mathews

How did they carry the heavy stones to make their temples? asked Takeley Primary School. Read what Professor Jennifer Mathews had to say.

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Templo Mayor animation

The Aztecs/Mexica founded the city of Tenochtitlan in 1325 and in the same year started to build the Templo Mayor, the Great Temple. It was the largest pyramid ever constructed by the Aztecs/Mexica and their most sacred site. Twin shrines at the top were dedicated to the war god Huitzilopochtli and the god of rain, Tlaloc.

The temple was remodelled and enlarged several times, but was all but destroyed by the Spanish Conquistadores in 1521. Its remnants were discovered in the centre of modern Mexico City in 1978.

A digital reconstruction of El Templo Mayor and its surroundings was created in 2002 to accompany the Aztecs exhibition held at the Royal Academy of Arts. The Academy commissioned the Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture (CASA) at the University of Bath, to develop a computer model and a seven-minute-long animation. The model was on view at the Aztecs exhibition held at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, 16 November 2002-11 April 2003; Martin-Gropius-Bar, Berlin, 17 May-10 August 2003; Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn, 26 September 2003-11 January 2004.

The project was directed by Professor Robert Tavernor; modelling by Henry Chow, Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture (CASA), Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath. With special thanks to Robert Tavernor for allowing us to include the video on the Mexicolore website. Note: there is no soundtrack to the animation.

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