Aztec Twin-Temple Pyramids as Evidence for State Religion through Shared Architecture and Symbology
Author(s): Aaron Ott
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Twin-temple pyramids of the Late Postclassic in Central Mexico became a distinct symbol of Aztec ideology. Nowhere is this demonstrated more than with Templo Mayor, the Great Temple of Tenochtitlán, the capital city of the Aztec empire. The deities worshiped and rituals conducted at Templo Mayor made it a beacon of ideological identity for the Mexica-Aztec, both in religious belief and national dominance. The very aspects that made it so symbolically significant would also carry over to the other temples of similar construction outside the capital city. This paper identifies aspects of state religion, invokes ethnographic analogy from Medieval Catholicism, and demonstrates those same traits in Postclassic Central Mexico. By examining the shared architectural features between Templo Mayor and nearby pyramids in cities under Aztec control, such as twin-temple design, shared sculpture and orientation, their contribution to the state religion in place at the time becomes clear. This then offers a method for showing state religion in new areas under investigation.
Cite this Record
Aztec Twin-Temple Pyramids as Evidence for State Religion through Shared Architecture and Symbology. Aaron Ott. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449405)
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min long: -107.271; min lat: 18.48 ; max long: -94.087; max lat: 23.161 ;
Abstract Id(s): 25129