Piedra del Ex Arzobispado


Museo Nacional de Antropología, México

Museo Nacional de Antropología, México
Mexico,D.F., Mexico

Known as Cuauhxicalli de Motecuhzoma I for some researchers, this monument was found in situ in 1988 during the foundations of what used to be the Palace of the Archbishop in the first years of the Colony. The palace was built over the ruins of a pre-Hispanic temple at the south section of the Sacred Precinct of Tenochtitlan that, according to the sources, was dedicated to Tezcatlipoca, a supreme deity for the Nahuas.This splendid sculpture was one of the stones associated to the tlahuahuanaliztli ritual (“rayamiento”) [scratching ceremony], better known as “gladiatory sacrifices” in which the captured warriors were tied down on top of a round stone called temalácatl, after unequal battles were fought with well-armed warriors. After dying, his heart was taken out and offered to the Sun putting it in a container called cuauhxicalli (“eagle vessel”). This ritual was part of the Tlacaxipehualiztli celebration dedicated to the god Xipe Tótec, who would identify with Tlatlauhqui Tezcatlipoca (Tezcatlipoca Red). Cylindrical monuments like this could have been used as temalácatl [sacrifice stone], and as cuauhxicalli [vessels].This piece is a cylindrical monolith with carved sides and the upper side with historical and symbolic motifs. The top presents the traditional image of the Sun, whose human-like face was carved inside the central cavity. The outside is carved with eleven scenes of the conquest divided visually with a bar repeating the same image: the ruler with an attire of the god of fire Xiuhtecuhtli holding by the hair a warrior that represents the people defeated in the battle and, to the right, the glyph of the place that the captive belongs to. The top and bottom lines have carved borders with glyphs related mainly to human sacrifice like skulls, crossed bones, sacrifice knives, hearts and hands, among other elements.Arqlga. Bertina Olmedo Vera


  • Title: Piedra del Ex Arzobispado
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: 1440/1481
  • Physical Location: México
  • Physical Dimensions: h710 x d2250 cm (complete)
  • Period: Posclásico Tardío (1250-1521 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: Basalto

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