The Once-Forgotten Templo Mayor in Mexico City

Underground culture

By CyArk

A rainbow over the ruins of Templo Mayor by CyArkCyArk

Templo Mayor was one of the main temples of Tenochtitlan, the former capital of the Aztec empire. It was built sometime after 1325 CE and dedicated to two Aztec deities, Huitzilopochtli, the god of war, and Tlaloc, the god of rain and agriculture.  

CyArk scanning Templo Mayor in Mexico City by CyArkCyArk

The temple was surrounded by a serpent wall and the entire structure would have been brightly painted.  You can still see many of the original colors today.   

In 1521 CE, the Spanish destroyed Templo Mayor to make way for a new cathedral. The ruins were buried and largely forgotten until their rediscovery in the 1970s.  

A Chacmool figure holding a bowl in the ruins of Templo Mayor in Mexico City by CyArkCyArk

When the Templo Mayor was excavated archeologists discovered a stone Chacmool statue.  A Chacmool is a reclining figure with its head turned 90 degrees to the side. It first appeared in the Valley of Mexico in the 9th century. 

CyArk scanning Templo Mayor in Mexico City by CyArkCyArk

Many of the artifacts uncovered during the excavation are located in the Templo Mayor museum adjacent to the site.

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