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The anahuatl pectorals from the offerings of the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan

Author(s): Belem Zúñiga Arellano ; Adrian Velazquez-Castro

Year: 2017

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The anahuatl pectoral is one of the shell ornaments that have been found in the offerings of the great temple of Tenochtitlan. In paintings and sculptures, it is worn by Tezcatlipoca and deities that are stars and warriors, as Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli and Mixcoatl. Inside the offerings, the anahuatl are associated to items related to the underworld, sacrifice and war. This has led to propose that these pectorals represented the stars, which were the warriors during the night. The presence of the anahualt pectorals in the tenochca offerings dates back to constructive stage IVb (1469-1489 a.C), when a tenochca style of manufacturing shell objects is created. By this time, these pieces were always made of Pinctada mazatlanica shells, which were abraded with basalt stone and cut and decorated with obsidian tools. Nevertheless, in offerings excavated recently that correspond to constructive stage VI (1489-1502 a.C.), anahuatl pectorals have been found made with different tools and even of fresh water mussels. In this paper some possible explanations to these changes are presented.

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The anahuatl pectorals from the offerings of the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan. Belem Zúñiga Arellano, Adrian Velazquez-Castro. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429833)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15433

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America