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BLEEDING HEARTS

MAYAN AND AZTEC ARCHAEOLOGY


Anila Fider Go Gomez
THE MAYAN CIVILIZATION
PEOPLE OF THE JAGUAR
Agricultural: slash-and-burn, irrigation,
terracing
Large population of farmers
Deeply religious, worshipped various
gods related to nature (ex. Gods of the
sun, moon, rain, corn)
Kings (kuhul ajaw/ holy lords) related to
gods: acted as mediator between gods
and people, performed religious
ceremonies and rituals
Importance of torture and human
sacrifice in rituals
Jaguar God Mask Figurine of a Vessel with
Noblewoman Dancing Snake Man
THE MADRID CODEX THE DRESDEN CODEX
THE MAYAN CALENDAR
Tzolkin - religious calendar of 260
days (9 months)
Haab - 365 day solar year calendar
(18 months of 20 days and 1 month
of 5 days)
Long Count - astronomical
calendar
Calendar Round - combination of
Tzolkin and Haab (52 solar years)
CHICHEN ITZA
Yucantn, Mexico

El Castillo - The Castle


Built between 9th and 12th centuries CE
Material: limestone
Temple of Kukulcan
91 stairs on each side of the pyramid + 1 step at the
top = 365 steps symbolizing 365 days in a year
CARACOL
Cayo, Belize

Discovered in 1937
Largest Mayan ruins in Belize
(88 square kilometers)
Population of around 140000
in the sixth century AD
Pyramids, temples, tombs,
dwellings
Defeated Tikal kingdom in
Guatemala
PALENQUE
Chiapas, Mexico

Inhabited at 100 BC to 800 AD


Built between 9th and 12th
centuries CE
Sculpted reliefs with
mythological themes
Original Maya name: Lakamha
meaning Big Water
MAYAN RELIGION & RITUALS
Yaxchilan Human Sacrifice
King

Sahal or military chief


Three captives
(assumed to
be scribes) Carved limestone relief
Dated 23 August 783 CE
Signed by artist - indicates
great value of the art work
at the time
MAYAN RELIGION & RITUALS
Heart Removal
Chacmool - reclined human
figure holding a bowl/disc where
sacrifices to the gods are placed
(blood, hearts, incense, etc.)
MAYAN RELIGION & RITUALS
Bloodletting Ritual

Most common Mayan ritual


Demanded by the gods in return for the blood they
shed to give life to humanity
Limited to the royal bloodline
Purification ceremonies to prepare for bloodletting
Usually for important events like anniversaries,
births and inaugurations (ascents to throne)
Also used to communicate with ancestors
MAYAN RELIGION & RITUALS
Urn with Jaguar Figure & Skulls
600-900 CE, Guatemala

Xibalba (Underworld)
Place of Fright
Only those who died a violent death avoided
eternal suffering
Ruled by lords of the underworld, there are 9
different levels of dangerous landscapes and
demons
Concept: important part of the Mayan MAYAN BALL GAME
story wherein two Mayan gods who were
tricked into descending into Xibalba and Ball court Marker
challenged to a ballgame and one of the
gods lost his head
Without the use of hands, players must get
a solid latex ball through one of the rings
Players were male and usually warriors and
war captives
Famous sport where it is common practice
for losers to cut their heads off as a
sacrifice to the gods
THE AZTEC CIVILIZATION
AZTEC CIVILIZATION
They were known for their advanced structural innovations,
established religious system, and rich culture.
In line with an established religious system which is
polytheistic, the Aztecs are believed to have sacrificed more
or less 250,000 people annually.
Nahuatl
Population of 5 million
PEOPLE FROM AZTLAN

Boturini Codex. Aztecs leave Aztlan on 1116 AD.

Aubin Codex. Two Chichimecs emerge from


Colhuatepec to parley with two feathered Toltecs.
CODICES
Well-recorded history & culture
In Aztec pictogram, Nahuatl and occasionally in Latin

Codex Telleriano-Remensis.
Codex Barbonicus. Tonalamatl Codex Lienzo de Tlaxcala. War 20,000 sacrifices in 4 days in
1487 A.D. (1485-87 )
THE SUN STONE
(THE CALENDAR STONE)

52-year cycle

20 glyphs (Aztec days)

4 Cardinal directions

Fire Serpents (Xiuhcoatl)


Moctezuma II (1502-1520)
THE SUN STONE
(THE CALENDAR STONE)

1 Flint
Tonatiuh

20 glyphs (Aztec days)


Eras or Suns:
-Jaguar
-High winds
-Rains of Fire
-Water
-Earthquakes (4th movement)
AZTEC RELIGION & RITUALS
Sacrifices in religious festivals in accordance
to the Aztec calendar

Gods were fed and nourished with the sacrificed


blood and flesh which ensured the continued
balance and prosperity of Aztec society (e.g.
Huitzilopochtli, the sun God)
Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca
AZTEC RITUALS
Feast of Ochpaniztli: New Fire
Ceremony (every 52 years)

Mosaic-handled flint ritual knife.


Dated 1400 to 1521 CE Stone etched with the symbol
of the "new fire"
THE CITY OF
TENOCHTITLN
Mendoza Codex.
The founding of Tenochtitln
Divided into four sections
Eagle perched on a prickly pear
cactus
Victories over Colhuacan and
Tenayuca

Founded in Lake Tetzcoco in 1325 A.D


Atlantean Warrior Column

Anthropomorphic Serpent

Brazier
Aztec masks were used
MASKS as ornaments, and were
sometimes worn as part
VESSELS
of a ritual, or in death as Depict faces
a death mask. of different
Gods
eyes closed or
covered and
an open
mouth

Turquoise
Faces of Gods
Removed face
of enemy of a
warrior
CHOLULA POTTERY More colorful and more elaborate designs
compared to normal Tenochtitlan pottery
Usually used by royalty
Gold lip plug
Bead necklace
with skulls
JEWELRY
Rich variety of
materials
Mosaics using
precious stones
Copper, gold and
silver, shells, clay,
wood, obsidian,
and feathers.
Precious stones:
jade, quartz (such
as amethyst), opal,
moonstone, and
turquoise.
Shell necklace
Ear Pendants

Warriors vs. Other Tribes


Way to have human sacrifices BALL GAME
Unclear whether winners or losers
are sacrificed

Sculpted ball found in Tenochtitlan


TEMPLO MAYOR
Tenochtitlan/Mexico City

rebuilt 6 times
Temple of Huitzilopochtli
Temple of Tlaloc
MOUNT TLALOC
Ixtapaluca, Mexico State
Ceremonial Site
CUAUHXICALLI Also known as The House of Eagles
Malinalco, Mexico Human hearts from sacrificial ceremonies
Decorated with jaguars and eagles
TENAYUCA
The Great Stairway Valley of Mexico
Carved Glyphs
TENAYUCA
Valley of Mexico
Stone snake guards
Coiled snakes beside altars
TLATELOLCO
Mexico City, Mexico
Pyramid that looks like Tenayuca and Tenochtitlan
Mass Grave of 49, mostly warriors
TEXCOCO (ALTEPETL)
Texcotzingo, 20 mi. NE of Mexico City

Population of 24,000
450 hectares
ACATITLAN | Santa Cecilia, Mexico State
EHECATL PYRAMID | Pino Suarez Metro Station, Mexico City
Teocalli Stone
(Monument of Sacred War, 1507 AD) MOCTEZUMA II
Head dress (crown)
FALL OF AN EMPIRE
August 13, 1521
Conquered in just 2 years
Triggers:
-Neighboring enemies
-Inferior weapons
-Ineffective Leadership
-Smallpox
Duiker, W.J. & Spielvogel, J.J. (2013). History of the world, 7th Ed. Pasig, Philippines: Cengage Learning

Asia Pte Ltd.


Mark Cartwright. The Ball Game of Mesoamerica, Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified September
SOURCES
16, 2013. http://www.ancient.eu /article/604/.
Mayan civilization, ruins and culture in central america. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14 2016 from
http://globalsherpa.org/mayan-civilization-ruins-sites-culture-calendar-2012/
Gomez, M. C. (2015). Maya religion. In Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 14 2016 from
http://www.ancient.eu/Maya_Religion/
Presentation of captives to a maya ruler. (n.d.). In Kimbell Art Museum. Retrieved November 14 2016 from
https://www.kimbellart.org/collection-object/presentation-captives-maya-ruler
Rulership and ritual: Maya relief of royal blood-letting. (n.d.). In The British Museum. Retrieved November 14 2016
from https://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/all_current_exhibitions/maya_lintel.aspx
http://latinamericanstudies.org
http://www.history.com/topics/aztecs
www.aztec-history.com/