The polychromy of the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan "Standard Bearers"


During the 1979 Templo Mayor Project excavations in the ruins of Tenochtitlan’s main pyramid, eleven basalt sculptures, ritually buried in a hitherto unseen manner, were exhumed from the fill covering Construction Stage III (1427–1440 CE). Their complex forms and iconographic elements have made ascertaining their function within the sacred precinct of the Mexica capital difficult. After their discovery, it was surmised that they represented Huitzilopochtli’s siblings, the centzonhuitznahuah, and that they functioned as standard bearers. Recent digital microscopy analysis, however, has yielded the recovery of polychromy that exhibits a combination of traits associated with centzonhuitznahuah, pulque, and rain deities, and thus strengthens the hypothesis concerning the relationships between these three groups of gods. The reconstruction of their complex iconography will reveal the identity and function of these personages.

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Cite this Record

The polychromy of the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan "Standard Bearers". Diego Matadamas Gómora, Martha Soto, Ángel González López, Michelle De Anda Rogel. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396545)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;