Midterm study guide

Midterm study guide - 1 Describe what we think was the...

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1 Describe what we think was the appearance of the final construction stage (stage VII) of the Aztec Templo Mayor – that is, what did the Templo Mayor apparently look like when Cortes first entered Tenochtitlan on November 8, 1519? Consider all of the following in your description: size, orientation, shape, and decoration. Size: -towered over the other buildings in the ceremonial precinct Orientation: -located in the city’s ceremonial precinct (which was in the center, it divided the city into four quadrants) -facing west (direction of the setting sun) -served as an axis mundi because it not only unified the four quadrants on the terrestrial level but also unified the underworld and the heavens Shape: -pyramid sits on a platform (possibly representing the earthly level of the cosmos) -pyramid had sloping sides and was rectangular (possibly representing the rise to the heavens) -two staircases went up the front and switched direction toward the top -two temples at the top one higher than the other and a break in between them -the two separate staircases and temples represent two separate mountains (Coatepec and the “Hill of Sustenance”) Decoration: -different decoration on each temple -northern for Tlaloc and southern for Huitzilopochtli -tzompantli skull racks and serpents associated with Huitzilopochtli god of war, water and vegetation décor such as frogs for Tlaloc Given that practically nothing of that building has survived, what kinds of evidence do we have to rely on here? Documented sources: -Cortes map (Cortes sent it back to Spain so the king could see what it looked like, somehow ended up in Germany and was published using a printing press) -hypothetical reconstruction of ceremonial precinct by Ignacio Marquina in 1951 (most likely an enclosed, paved area filled with buildings of different purposes and meanings. The temple towered over all the other buildings, Marquina’s representation based on colonial sources showed the building had two temples at the top with sloping sides, two staircases) -Diego Duran and artists working for him (inhabited by statues that were of 2 of the Aztecs’ main deities: Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli, blood on the pyramid suggests Spanish sacrificing) -Sahagun’s description of annual festival helped to visualize pyramid -Bernal Diaz depicted the Templo Mayor with Huitzilopochtli inside -important to include limitations of these: may be biased, copies and cognates, converted natives or Spanish artists with different views Artifacts: -archaeological digs in Mexico City led by Matos, few remains of the temple and its 7 stages -dedication stone (possibly once imbedded in a wall in one of the building stages of the temple, probably carved to commemorate the dedication of Ahuitzotl’s construction phase) -sacrificial stone
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-Coyolxauhqui Stone -Chacmool (type of temple furniture, Aztecs learned about this from other cultures and brought it into the temple, clearly has something to do with the rain and vegetation cult) -offerings to Tlaloc (pulque vase, necklaces, crocodile skull)
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Midterm study guide - 1 Describe what we think was the...

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