Among the important rituals that were practiced in general in Mesoamerica, and particularly in Tenochtitlan, there was the human sacrifice. The belief in the constant renewal of the vital force of the gods from the blood and hearts of the captives of war, made this ritual would increase.This magnificent piece, made of andesite, was found under the courtyard of the Marques del Apartado building in the corner of Argentina and Donceles in the Historical Center of Mexico City. Together with its partner, a cuauhxicalli (container for offerings) in the shape of an eagle, they are representations of complementary opposite elements.The cuauhxicalli had several shapes, but all served to store the hearts and blood of the captives sacrificed, as well as other type of offerings to the gods. In the back of the animal there is a decorated bowl with two pictures, one of the God Huitzilopochtli and another of the God Tezcatlipoca, both with pierced earlobes.Mtro. Hugo García Capistran.


  • Title: Ocelotl Cuauhxicalli
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: 1250/1500
  • Physical Location: México
  • Physical Dimensions: w1050 x h935 x d2270 cm (complete)
  • Period: Posclásico Tardío (ca 1500 d.C)
  • Centro Histórico Ciudad de México: Mexica
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia., INAH. Proyecto de Digitalización de las Colecciones Arqueológicas del Museo Nacional de Antropología. CONACULTA-CANON-MNA.
  • External Link: http://www.mna.inah.gob.mx
  • Medium: Andesita piroxena

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