The Coyolxauhqui Stone
Found at the base of Templo Mayor’s stairs, the Coyolxauhqui is a large, shield-shaped stone relief similar to what was being described in the legend. The sculpture might have been made during the 14th century as the Templo Mayor was built in 1325. It is said that the Templo Mayor was constructed based on a prophecy followed by the Aztecs wherein they will find an eagle perched on a cactus while devouring a snake. The Templo Mayor continued to expand for two centuries. During the time of Spanish Conquest in 1521, it reached a total population of 300,000 and was considered as the center for religious life in the city. After the conquest of the Spanish in Technotitlan, the temple was almost completely destroyed. In 1978, an Aztec carving found at the heart of Mexico City lead to the comprehensive excavation, which uncovered what remained of the temple.
The Coyolxauhqui was based on Spanish friar and ethnographer Bernardinoa de Sahagun’s recording of the legend. Coyolaxauhqui was the daughter of the Lady Serpent Skirt named Coatlicue who also had four hundred sons. Coyolaxauhqui and her four hundred siblings decided to slay their mother due to her unexplainable pregnancy, which was caused by a mysterious ball of feathers placed in the sash of her belt. Coyolaxauhqui and her brothers thought that their mother was unfaithful and that the one who got her pregnant should be killed. Coyolaxauhqui killed her mother and beheaded her, but out of her neck sprang two gigantic serpents. Huitzilpochtli was also born out of her body armed with his shield and a spear thrower. He killed Coyolaxauhqui and her four hundred brothers.
The Templo Mayor is one large stone pyramid, which also has wide staircases that are similar to most temples that are seen in Mexico. The twin temps in the pyramid’s summit were dedicated to the god of war, Huitzilopochtil, and the rain god, Tialoc. The Gods were given human sacrifices that were killed with the use of a ceremonial knife called obsidian. The bodies are then thrown down the staircase.
Information about Codices
There are eight principal mixtex codices. They share significant portions of the same history, ritual affairs, genealogy, and biography. The Codex Vindobonensis portrays the deeds of the original gods and ancestors, the dedication of religious festivals and the establishment of the first kingdoms. The Codex Nuttall lists many of the same people and places, but casts them as the antagonists who join a cosmic conflict called “The War of Heaven”. Codex Nuttall also describes the rise to power of the Lord Eight Deer. Codex Selden provides details of the biography of Lord Eight Deer’s rival, Lady Six Monkey of Jaltepec. Codex Bodley – tells the stories of Lord 8 Deer and Lord Four Wind. 6 Monkey’s son sem to introduce
over 400 years of subsequent genealogical reckoning for the Post classic kingdoms of
Tilantongo, Teozaoalco, Jaltepec, Achiutla, Tlaxiaco, and Zaachila. Codex Nuttall – most people have been introduced to the mixtec codices by this particular codex. Codex Colombino-Becker joins Eight Deer’s biography to that of Lord Four Wind.
Codex Nuttall – is captivating with its use of primary colors and details but it is considered as one of the hardest codices to interpret. This might be because it is divided into several sections without any apparent guides available for text linkage. The obverse is a painted pictograph on the front of Nuttal (pg 42-84) while the reverse is painted at the back (p 1 – 41). Guide lines indicated in red paint are actually provided by the painter so that the “boustrophedon” or meandering pattern across the page is easily followed.
Codices commonly connect conflicting points of view. They were considered as scripts for performance so it should not be surprising to discover that the human body is a crucial element in codicil imagery. Codex pages are filled with human figures. According to John Monaghan, the human form is the primary bearer of information in the Mixtec codices, and this nature of the writing has made it relatable to people.
It was during the Teotihuacan and Olmec period where Aztec art widely flourished. Teotihuacan has a population of more than 100,000 and it was considered as one of the largest cities in the world between 200 and 700 AD. Aztec art was divided into domestic and elite life. Elite life dealt with sculptures, mosaics, stela, and pyramids while domestic life dealt with obsidian, pottery, as well as rare luxuries and stone giving tools. The Olmec culture was treated as an art style that continues to be the trademark of the Aztec culture. Colossal heads, massive serpentine offerings, jagyar figurines, stelas and pyramids define Olmec. The sun of pyramids, the avenue of dead, the ciudadela, the feathered serpent pyramid, and the moon of pyramids, on the other hand, defined Teotihuacan.
Both Olmec and Teotihuacan share the culture and developed their arts through their own traditions and ways. However, the similarities between the two periods are not coincidental as it indicates that there is a continuity of fundamental ideological concepts, which have been evident in iconography as well as other elements. One of the most recognizable aspects, and arguably the most speculated, works of art of the Olmec civilization were the gigantic helmeted heads, which could not be explained by pre-Columbian text. The religious traditions of Olmec also affect their art. A combination of shamans, full-time priests, performed these religious activities. The rulers are also considered as the most important religious figure as they were connected to the Olmec dieties such as supernatural beings that provide legitimacy to their rule. Little fact is known about the social or even political structure of the Olmec society. Nevertheless, most of the researchers assume that the colossal heads, as well as several other sculptures discovered were created to represent rulers. This assumption can be easily proven true if only a Maya stelae, which can specify the rulers and providers based on the date of their rule.
The entire ancient city, the monumental city included, was distributed over an even form of elevation. Teotihuacan and Tula’s pyramid have developed similar characteristics. Both pyramids possess the same spatial setting with regards to each other. Nevertheless, what makes these two pyramids different is that they are not situated in the same plaza.