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<div id="blq-content"> <div class="boxPageShell"> <div class="boxPageShellInner"> <div class="boxPageMain"> <div class="boxRow clearFix"> <div id="boxPageMasthead" class="clearFix"> <h1><a href="/schools/primaryhistory/worldhistory/">Primary History with 'A History of the World'</a></h1> <div class="crumb"> <span class="unitHeader">World History:</span> <span class="topicHeader">Double-Headed Serpent</span> </div> <div class="launchTimeline"><a href="/schools/primaryhistory/timeline/ti meline_ahow.shtml" onclick="bbcjs.win.open(this.href, 787, 485); return false;" id="title" class="noHover"><span class="timelineTxt">Explore timelines</span></a ></div> <p></p> </div> <script type="text/javascript">AC_FL_RunContent = 0;</script> <script src="/schools/primaryhistory/timeline/ac_runactivecontent.js" type="text /javascript"></script> <div class="boxTimeline"> <!--url's used in the movie--> <!--text used in the movie--> <!-- saved from url=(0013)about:internet --> <script type="text/javascript"> if (AC_FL_RunContent == 0) { alert("This page requires ac_runactivecontent.js."); } else { AC_FL_RunContent( 'codebase', 'http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwav e/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=7,0,0,0', 'width', '786', 'height', '64', 'src', '/schools/primaryhistory/timeline/primaryhistoryt imeline_ahow_banner', 'quality', 'high', 'pluginspage', 'http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashpla yer', 'align', 'middle', 'play', 'true', 'loop', 'true', 'scale', 'showall', 'wmode', 'window', 'FlashVars','eraID=0', 'devicefont', 'false', 'id', 'PrimaryHistoryTimeline_Banner', 'bgcolor', '#7d9b4', 'name', 'PrimaryHistoryTimeline_Banner', 'menu', 'true', 'allowFullScreen', 'false', 'allowScriptAccess','sameDomain',

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</div> <div class="boxCrumb actions"> <div id="blq-local-nav"> <table class="navCrumb"> <tr> <td class="homeIcon"></td> <td class="home"><a href="/schools/primaryhistory/">Primary History home </a></td> <td class="subHome"><a href="/schools/primaryhistory/worldhistory/">Worl d History index</a></td> <td class="subSelected">Double-Headed Serpent</td> </tr> </table> </div> </div> <!-- BEGIN LH CONTENT COL --> <div class="boxColWide0"> <div id="moduleArticle" class="boxModule Feature clearFix"> <div class="capTop modTop"><div class="cnrR"></div><div class="cnrL"></div></div> <div class="boxModuleInner clear Fix"> <div id="featureTop" cla

ss="boxModuleContent clearFix"> <div class="boxC olA"> <h3 clas s="highlight">Choose a section:</h3> <ul id=" nav-article" class="actions"><li class="clearFix selected"> <div class="capTop"><div class="cnrR"></div><div class="cnrL"></div></di v> <div class="boxAction"><a href="#item-article-01">Mexica</a></div> <div class="capBottom"><div class="cnrR"></div><div class="cnrL"></div>< /div> </li> <li class="clearFix"> <div class="capTop"><div class="cnrR"></div><div class="cnrL"></div></di v> <div class="boxAction"><a href="#item-article-02">The snake's make up</a ></div> <div class="capBottom"><div class="cnrR"></div><div class="cnrL"></div>< /div> </li> <li class="clearFix"> <div class="capTop"><div class="cnrR"></div><div class="cnrL"></div></di v> <div class="boxAction"><a href="#item-article-03">Symbolism</a></div> <div class="capBottom"><div class="cnrR"></div><div class="cnrL"></div>< /div> </li> <li class="clearFix"> <div class="capTop"><div class="cnrR"></div><div class="cnrL"></div></di v> <div class="boxAction"><a href="#item-article-04">Tenochtitlan</a></div> <div class="capBottom"><div class="cnrR"></div><div class="cnrL"></div>< /div> </li></ul> </div> <div class="boxC olB boxArticleContent"> <ul id=" items-article"> <li id="item-article-01" class="articleSection">

<h3>Mexica</h3> <p>This snake with two heads is 43 cm long from nose to nose, and was wo rn on the chest, probably by an important person during a religious ceremony.</ p> <p>It was made between 1400 and 1500 by the people we call Aztecs, but who calle d themselves Mexica (say 'Meh-shee-ka').</p>

<p class="bTT"><a href="#featureTop">Back to top</a></p> </li> <li id="item-article-02" class="articleSection">

<h3>The snake's make up</h3> <p>The double-headed snake looks as if it's made of stone, but is actual ly made of wood covered with mosaic - small pieces of coloured stone.</p> <p>This mosaic is made from turquoise (a blueish mineral), stuck on the wooden b ase with tree-resin gum.</p> <p>Oyster shell was used for the red around the snakes' heads, and conch shell f or their white teeth.</p> <p>The eye sockets still have traces of beeswax, showing where the snakes' eyes, possibly made from gold-coloured iron pyrites, were stuck in.</p> <p>The snakes' heads have mosaic both sides. The back of the coiling body is und ecorated, though originally it was probably painted gold. </p> <p class="bTT"><a href="#featureTop">Back to top</a></p> </li> <li id="item-article-03" class="articleSection"> <h3>Symbolism</h3> <p>People are often scared of snakes, even though most of these reptiles are harmless.</p> <p>To many ancient peoples, the snake was a symbol of magical power, mys terious and deadly. To the Aztecs, snakes were important in art and religion.</p > <p>One of their gods was Quetzalcoatl, the 'Feathered Serpent' and they had other serpent gods too.</p> <p>Snakes shed their skins each year, perhaps suggesting rebirth and ch ange to the Aztecs. Also a snake slithers with ease between ground, water and fo rest trees - just as a god might move between earth, water and sky.</p> <p class="bTT"><a href="#featureTop">Back to top</a></p> </li> <li id="item-article-04" class="articleSection"> <h3>Tenochtitlan</h3> <p>The Aztecs founded their capital city at Tenochtitlan (Mexico) in 134 5.</p> <p>They conquered their neighbours to create an empire, and by 1500 they had made Tenochtitlan one of the largest cities in the world.</p> <p>Conquered peoples paid taxes to the Aztec emperor. They sent gold, feather-wo rk and mosaics like this serpent ornament as 'tribute'.</p> <p>Such riches were a tempting prize for the Spanish soldiers led by Hernan Cort

&eacute;s, who landed in Mexico in 1519. The Spaniards captured the Aztec empero r Moctezuma, who was later killed, and by 1521, they had destroyed the Aztec emp ire, and seized much of its fabulous wealth. </p> <p>Only a few Aztec treasures, like the double-headed serpent, survive.</p> <p class="bTT"><a href="#featureTop">Back to top</a></p> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> <!-- COMMENT BEGIN ACTIVITIES MODULE --> <div class="boxModule clearFix"> <div class="activitiesTop"><div class="cnrR"></div><div class="cnrL"><div class="activitiesHeader">Activities</d iv></div></div> <div class="boxModuleInner"> <div class="headerMargin"></div> <div class="boxModuleCon tent"> <ul id="items-ac tivities" class="pseudoColsAB clearFix"><li class="promo clearFix"> <div class="tn"><a id="ahotw_doubleheadedserpent" class="game-link"><img src="/schools/primaryhistory/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/includes/activi ties/images/quiz.gif" width="46" height="46" alt="Quiz: Double Headed Serpent" / ><span class="text">Quiz: <br />Double Headed Serpents<span> (Needs JavaScript)< /span></span></a></div> </li> <!-- <li class="promo clearFix"> <div class="tn"><a id="g_easter_island_game" class="game-link"><img src= "/schools/primaryhistory/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/includes/activities/ images/easter_island.gif" width="46" height="46" alt="Mytilene - A matter of lif e and death!" /><span class="text">Easter Island - <br />A game<span> (Needs Jav aScript)</span></span></a></div> </li> <li class="promo clearFix"> <div class="tn"><a id="g_olympics" class="game-link"><img src="/schools/ primaryhistory/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/includes/activities/images/oly mpics.gif" width="46" height="46" alt="The Olympics - Visit the ancient games!" /><span class="text">The Olympics - Visit the ancient games!<span> (Needs JavaSc ript)</span></span></a></div> </li> --> <!-<li class="promo clearFix"> <div class="tn"><a id="g_theatre" class="game-link"><img src="/schools/p rimaryhistory/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/includes/activities/images/thea tre.gif" width="46" height="46" alt="The Greek Theatre - 2,350 years ago!" /><sp an class="text">The Greek <br />Theatre - <br />2,350 years ago!<span> (Needs Ja vaScript)</span></span></a></div> </li> <li class="promo clearFix"> <div class="tn"><a href="/schools/primaryhistory/worldhistory/double_hea

ded_serpent/includes/activities/pdfs/g_athens.pdf" title="the title" class="pdflink"><img src="/schools/primaryhistory/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/inclu des/activities/images/pdf.gif" width="46" height="46" alt="Fun activities" /><sp an class="text">Fun activities - Athens</span></a></div> </li> --></ul> </div> </div> </div> <!-- COMMENT END ACTIVITIES MODULE --> </div> <!-- END LH CONTENT COL --> <!-- BEGIN RH CONTENT COL --> <div class="boxColBasic mgnL"> <!-- COMMENTS BEGIN RESOURCES MODULE --> <div id="moduleResources" class="boxModule"> <div class="boxModuleInner"> <ul id="nav-resources" class="ac tions"><li id="nav-resources-photos" class="liMargin selected"> <div class="capTop"><div class="cnrR"></div><div class="cnrL"></div></di v> <div class="boxAction"><a href="#resources-photos">Photos</a></div> </li> <li id="nav-resources-video" class="liMargin"> <div class="capTop"><div class="cnrR"></div><div class="cnrL"></div></di v> <div class="boxAction"><a href="#resources-videos">Videos</a></div> </li> <!--<li id="nav-resources-sounds" class="liMargin"> <div class="capTop"><div class="cnrR"></div><div class="cnrL"></div></di v> <div class="boxAction"><a href="#resources-sounds">Sounds</a></div> </li> <li id="nav-resources-writing" class="liMarginNone"> <div class="capTop"><div class="cnrR"></div><div class="cnrL"></div></di v> <div class="boxAction"><a href="#resources-writing">Writings</a></div> </li>--></ul> <div class="boxModuleContent"> <ul id="items-resources" ><li id="resources-photos"> <a name="resources-photos"></a> <ul class="tnGallery"> <li> <div class="tn"><a title="Double-Headed Serpent (left detail)" href="http://down loads.bbc.co.uk/rmhttp/schools/primaryhistory/images/worldhistory/double_headed_ serpent/mosaic_serpent_close.jpg"><img src="http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rmhttp/sc hools/primaryhistory/images/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/mosaic_serpent_sm all.jpg" width="86" height="80" alt="The double-headed snake was made by the Mex ica between 1400 and 1500. The red around the serpent's mouth is made of oyster shells. [&#169; Trustees of the British Museum]" title="Double-Headed Serpent ( left detail)" /></a></div> </li>

<li> <div class="tn"><a title="Double-Headed Serpent" href="http://downloads.bbc.co.u k/rmhttp/schools/primaryhistory/images/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/mosaic _serpent.jpg"><img src="http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rmhttp/schools/primaryhistory /images/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/mosaic_serpent_close_small.jpg" width ="86" height="80" alt="Snakes shed their skins each year, perhaps suggesting reb irth and change to the Aztecs. This serpent was made from wood and covered with mosaic. [&#169; Trustees of the British Museum]" title="Double-Headed Serpent" /></a></div> </li> <li> <div class="tn"><a title="Double-Headed Serpent (right detail)" href="http://dow nloads.bbc.co.uk/rmhttp/schools/primaryhistory/images/worldhistory/double_headed _serpent/mosaic_serpent_close_right.jpg"><img src="http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rm http/schools/primaryhistory/images/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/mosaic_ser pent_close_right_small.jpg" width="86" height="80" alt="To many ancient peoples, the snake symbolises mysterious and deadly magical power. The white used for t he serpent's long teeth is made of conch shells. [&#169; Trustees of the British Museum]" title="Double-Headed Serpent (right detail)" /></a></div> </li>

</ul> </li> <li id="resources-videos"> <a name="resources-videos"></a><ul>

<li class="promo clearFix" id="clip-8009"> <div class="tn"><a href="/learningzone/clips/8009" title=""><img src="/s chools/primaryhistory/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/includes/resources/vide os/images/cortes1.jpg" width="125" height="60" alt="Videos 002" /></a></div> <div class="promoCopy"> <div class="tn videoTextLink" style="background:none;border:none ;"><a href="/learningzone/clips/8009" title="" class="icon"></a> <a href="/learn ingzone/clips/8009" title="">Cortes and the Aztecs (pt 1/4)</a></div> </div> </li>

<li class="promo clearFix" id="clip-5144"> <div class="tn"><a href="/learningzone/clips/5144" title=""><img src="/s chools/primaryhistory/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/includes/resources/vide os/images/cortes2.jpg" width="125" height="60" alt="Videos 004" /></a></div> <div class="promoCopy"> <div class="tn videoTextLink" style="background:none;border:none

;"><a href="/learningzone/clips/5144" title="" class="icon"></a> <a href="/learningzone/clips/5144" title="">Cortes and the Aztec s (pt 2/4)</a></div> </div> </li>

<li class="promo clearFix" id="clip-5145"> <div class="tn"><a href="/learningzone/clips/5145" title=""><img src="/s chools/primaryhistory/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/includes/resources/vide os/images/cortes3.jpg" width="125" height="60" alt="Videos 004" /></a></div> <div class="promoCopy"> <div class="tn videoTextLink" style="background:none;border:none ;"><a href="/learningzone/clips/5145" title="" class="icon"></a> <a href="/learningzone/clips/5145" title="">Cortes and the Aztec s (pt 3/4)</a></div> </div> </li>

<li class="promo clearFix" id="clip-5147"> <div class="tn"><a href="/learningzone/clips/5147" title=""><img src="/s chools/primaryhistory/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/includes/resources/vide os/images/cortes4.jpg" width="125" height="60" alt="Videos 004" /></a></div> <div class="promoCopy"> <div class="tn videoTextLink" style="background:none;border:none ;"><a href="/learningzone/clips/5147" title="" class="icon"></a> <a href="/learningzone/clips/5147" title="">Cortes and the Aztec s (pt 4/4)</a></div> </div> </li>

<li class="promo clearFix" id="clip-5103"> <div class="tn"><a href="/learningzone/clips/5103" title=""><img src="/s chools/primaryhistory/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/includes/resources/vide os/images/customs.jpg" width="125" height="60" alt="Videos 004" /></a></div> <div class="promoCopy"> <div class="tn videoTextLink" style="background:none;border:none ;"><a href="/learningzone/clips/5103" title="" class="icon"></a> <a href="/learningzone/clips/5103" title="">What customs did the Aztecs have?</a></div> </div> </li> </ul>

</li> <li id="resources-sounds"> <a name="resources-sounds"></a><!--<ul> <li class="promoSounds"> <a href="/primaryhistory/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/" class="ico n"></a> <a href="#">Listen to a day in the life of a Roman boy</a> </li> <li class="promoSounds"> <a href="/primaryhistory/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/" class="ico n"></a> <a href="#">Listen to the sounds of a busy Roman market</a> </li> <li class="promoSounds"> <a href="/primaryhistory/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/" class="ico n"></a> <a href="#">Listen to a short Roman story</a> </li> </ul>--> </li> <li id="resources-writing"> <a name="resources-writing"></a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <!-- COMMENTS END RESOURCES MODULE --> <!-- COMMENTS BEGIN FUN-FACTS MODULE --> <div id="moduleFunFacts" class="boxModule clearF ix"> <div class="funfactsTop"><div class="cnr R"></div><div class="cnrL"><div class="activitiesHeader">Fun Facts</div></div></ div> <div class="boxModuleInner"> <div class="boxFunfactsContent clearFix" > <ul id="itemsFunFacts" class="clearFix"> <li id="fun_facts-01" class="clearFix"> <p>The Aztecs worshipped the Sun-god. </p> </li> <li id="fun_facts-02" class="clearFix"> <p>Aztecs performed horrible human sacrifices. In four days, 20,000 vict ims were killed and their hearts cut out at the Sun-god's temple.</p> </li> <li id="fun_facts-03" class="clearFix"> <p>Mexico City (capital of Mexico) is built on the site of the Aztec cit y of Tenochtitlan.</p> </li> <li id="fun_facts-04" class="clearFix"> <p>At the Aztec capital city, there were floating gardens, artificial is

lands where people grew vegetables.</p> </li> <li id="fun_facts-05" class="clearFix"> <p>Aztecs fought 'no-killing' wars. Two armies fought to take as many pr isoners as possible. When both sides had enough captives for their human sacrifi ces, they went home.</p> </li> <li id="fun_facts-06" class="clearFix"> <p>An Aztec boy had his hair cut at age 10. A lock of hair was left long at the back. After he took his first prisoner in battle, it was cut off.</p> </li></ul> </div> <ul id="navFunFacts" class="actions modu leFooter clearFix"> <li class="navPrev"> <div class="capTop"><div class="cnrR"></ div><div class="cnrL"></div></div> <div class="boxAction"><a href="#">Previ ous</a></div> <div class="capBottom"><div class="cnrR" ></div><div class="cnrL"></div></div> </li> <li class="navNext"> <div class="capTop"><div class="cnrR"></ div><div class="cnrL"></div></div> <div class="boxAction"><a href="#">Next</a></div > <div class="capBottom"><div class="cnrR" ></div><div class="cnrL"></div></div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> <!-- COMMENTS END FUN-FACTS MODULE --> <!-- COMMENTS BEGIN MORE-TO-EXPLORE MODULE --> <div id="moduleMoreToExplore" class="boxModule"> <div class="boxModuleInner"> <div class="moduleheader"> <h2>More to Expl ore</h2> </div> <div class="boxModuleCon tent"> <!-- <ul><li><a href="/schools/primaryhistory/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/filename.shtml" >Easter Island?</a></li></ul> --> <h3>Link s in the BBC</h3> <ul><li><a href= "/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/1laQMhiDSRmss-MwRUNVlQ">A History of the World: Dou ble-headed serpent</a></li> <li><a href="/podcasts/series/ahow/all">A History of the World: Listen to the po dcasts</a></li> <li><a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8263735.stm">BBC News: Beh

ind scenes at Aztec exhibition</a></li> <li><a href="/cbbc/games/games/lb/games/play/relic">CBBC: Relic - Guardians of t he Museum game</a></li> </ul> <h3>Link s outside the BBC</h3> <ul><li><a href= "http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/aoa/t/turquoi se_mosaic_of_a_serpent.aspx">British Museum: Turquoise mosaic of a double-headed serpent</a></li> <li><a href="http://mosaicartsource.wordpress.com/2007/01/17/aztec-mosaic-masksturquoise-double-headed-serpent-mosaic-british-museum/">More Aztec mozaic object s</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <!-- COMMENTS END MORE-TO-EXPLORE MODULE --> </div> <!-- END RH CONTENT COL -->

</div> </div>

<!-- BEGIN BOX-PAGE-MAIN-FOOTER --> <div class="boxPageMainFooter"> <div class="boxRow clearFix"> <div id="moduleAllTopics" class="boxModule allTo picsGlobal"> <div class="boxModuleInner"> <div class="header clearFix"> <div class="supplementar yLeft">All topics on <a href="/schools/primaryhistory/worldhistory">World Histor y</a></div> <div class="supplementar y"><a href="/schools/primaryhistory/worldhistory/double_headed_serpent/teachers_ resources.shtml">Teacher's Resources</a></div> </div> <div class="boxModuleContent"> <ul class="actions"> <li><a href="/sc hools/primaryhistory/worldhistory/benin_bronze/">Benin plaque</a></li>

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