Templo Mayor, Mexico

CyArk

An Aztec temple in the heart of Mexico City

Expedition Overview
In March 2016, CyArk documented Templo Mayor in the historic center of Mexico City. CyArk offered its assistance to site conservators who were recording some of the more fragile artifacts located around the temple along with several ornate objects from the adjacent museum. As transporting the original artifacts is a dangerous endeavor, museum staff requested 3D scans in order to create replicas that can be loaned to other museums.This research project was undertaken in collaboration with the Templo Mayor Museum. We would like to thank our partners at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) for the opportunity to assist with their work and our partners at Leica Geosystems and Artec 3D for lending equipment in support of the project.
Introducing Templo Mayor
Templo Mayor was one the principal temples of Tenochtitlan, the former capital of the Aztec empire. Built sometime after 1325 CE, the structure was dedicated to two Aztec deities, Huitzilopochtli the god of war and Tlaloc the god of rain and agriculture. The temple was surrounded by a serpent wall and the entire structure would have been brightly painted. Templo Mayor was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521 C.E. to make way for construction of a new cathedral. The ruins were buried and largely forgotten until their rediscovery in the 1970’s.
Unearthing History in Mexico City
During the course of excavation at Templo Mayor a stone Chacmool figure was discovered.  First appearing in the Valley of Mexico in the 9th century, the Chacmool form depicts a reclining figure with its head facing 90 degrees from the front. The figure is usually supporting itself on its elbows while holding a bowl or a disk upon its stomach. These figures possibly symbolized slain warriors carrying offerings to the gods and the bowls upon the chest were used to hold sacrificial offerings.

Summary of Data Captured

This project resulted in the following data which is now freely available for non-commercial use.

Areas with LiDAR documentation are indicated in grey.

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Credits: Story

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This project was made possible through the following partners:


Templo Mayor Museum

National Institute of Anthropology and History

Leica Geosystems

Artec 3D

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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