National Museum of Anthropology--page 5

Photographs of works in the museum are arranged based on the museum's organization:

Preclassic Works--page 1
Teotihuacán Culture--page 2 and 3
Toltec Culture--page 4
Mexica Culture--page 5 and 6
Oaxaca/Zapotec examples--page 7
Maya Culture--page 8 and 9

Examples from Mexica Culture

Relief depicting a procession of warriors


Teocalli (or Temple) of the Sacred War, commemorating the New Fire of 1507.

Postclassic, Basalt, height: 123 cm
This monument was ordered by Moctezuma II to commemorate the New Fire of 1507. The symbolism relates to the cult of the sun and the idea of sacred war. The Sacred War was an institution by which victims were obtained for sacrifice in the temples. This monument was found underneath the National Palace.

A sacred receptacle called Cuauhxicalli in the shape of a jaguar

Late Postclassic. Stone, height: 93 cm
Hearts of sacrificial victims were placed in the hollowed-out cavity in its back. The jaguar symbolized bravery and a military order of warriors was thus associated with it. This culture believed that the blood of sacrificial victims was required to nourish the sum and keep it in motion.

Center: ceremonial incense burner

Right: relief with calendar


Left: a fertility goddess, holding her breasts as a sign of nourishment (?)

Center: either Mictecacíhuatl, the goddess of death, or a cihuateteo, a woman who died in childbirth

Continue to page 6 for examples of art of the Mexica culture.

Go to the Mexico Index.

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© 2004 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

Page created by Mary Ann Sullivan