Representing the Underworld: Manipulation and Reuse of Animal Bones from Offering 126


Offering 126 was discovered during the Seventh Field Season of the Templo Mayor Project. This ritual deposit was buried in the West Plaza of the Sacred Precinct, during the reign of Ahuítzotl (AD 1486-1502). Mexica priests deposited inside a box made of stone slabs, more than 9,000 animal bones from 94 individuals, corresponding to wolves, pumas, jaguars, bobcats and birds of prey, among others. These animals were covered with a layer of marine organisms such as corals, shells, snails, starfish and sand dolars. On top of these, the priest deposited flint knives and stone sculptures. This impressive offering was covered with the monolith of Tlaltecuhtli, goddess of Earth. In this paper we will present results on the analysis of animal bones, with emphasis on taphonomic processes. We can conclude that all the specimens were buried at the same time, but they were sacrificed over on multiple ocassions. Their pelts were used with ritual purposes or as garments, while their bones were preserved in a storage. Manipulation of bones in different decomposition stages, supports this idea. In addition we will talk about the symbolism of this ritual deposit, characterized by its biological richness.

Cite this Record

Representing the Underworld: Manipulation and Reuse of Animal Bones from Offering 126. Ximena Chávez Balderas, Jacqueline Castro Irineo, Karina López Hernández. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429846)


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): 12165