The Offerings of the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan

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Between 1325 and 1521, the Mexica people of the Aztec capital ritually buried hundreds of offerings to their gods in the depths of the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan, where for more than five hundred years these gifts lay undiscovered. In complex religious ceremonies, sacred messages to the gods were expressed not only through these objects but through their exact and symbolic placement as well.

In this revised edition of The Offerings of the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan, Leonardo López Luján shares and synthesizes the spectacular findings of the historic Templo Mayor Project, which took place in the heart of Mexico City from 1978 to 1997. Archaeologists found an astonishing array of items including masks, jewelry, skeletal remains of jaguars and alligators, statues of gods, precious stones, human remains, and countless objects from the oceans. López Luján's aim was to decipher the offerings' religious significance and explain the profound associations between the unearthed materials and ritual behavior. In doing so he relied on diverse data and several analytical techniques to determine such things as the exact date when the offerings were buried, the gods to whom they were dedicated, the festivals in which the gifts were made, and the meanings of the materials and their spatial distribution.

The first edition of The Offerings of the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan was named "Outstanding Academic Book" by Choice and received the Eugene M. Kayden Humanities Award.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826329585
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Language: Spanish
  • Edition description: Revised edition
  • Pages: 456
  • Sales rank: 857,864

Meet the Author

Leonardo López Luján is senior researcher and professor at the Museo del Templo Mayor, INAH, Mexico City.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The excavation and interpretation of the offerings in the center of Mexico City : 1519-1978 1
Ch. 2 The Templo Mayor project and the excavation of offerings : 1978-1991 13
Ch. 3 The offerings and ritual ceremonies 31
Ch. 4 The framework of the offerings 43
Ch. 5 The symbolism of the Templo Mayor 63
Ch. 6 General characteristics of the Templo Mayor offerings 81
Ch. 7 The general taxonomy of the Templo Mayor offerings 117
Ch. 8 Approach to the meaning of the offerings 131
App. 1 Relationship of offerings to corresponding complexes 231
App. 2 Description of the offerings complexes 237
App. 3A Description of unique offerings 315
App. 3B Plan, matrices, and dendrograms 339
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