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The symbolism of the animals found inside Offering 125 of the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan

Author(s): Alejandra Aguirre

Year: 2017

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In the seventh field season of the Templo Mayor Project, we discovered various ritual deposits in an inverted pyramidal monument located west of the monolith of the Tlaltecuhtli Goddess. We determined that this space symbolized the threshold to the underworld, or realm of the dead. In this space we made the exceptional discovery of the Offering 125, associated with the ruler Ahuítzotl (1486-1502 CE). In this offering we found three flint knives that were dressed like Ehécatl-Quetzalcóatl (God of Wind). Two knives are decorated with spider monkey skin (Ateles geoffroyi) and in one case, a green stone duck effigy pendant. These elements were in association with two golden eagle skeletons (Aquila chrysaetos) and a wolf skeleton (Canis lupus). The employment of different symbolisms os animals refer to various aspects of Mexica cosmology. The animals occupy a specific location in the interior of the offerings and thus play a specific role within the offering’s narrative.

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The symbolism of the animals found inside Offering 125 of the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan. Alejandra Aguirre. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429838)


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): 14680

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