10 December 2022 The Future is the Product of the Past

A 500-year-old mural linked to an Aztec god was found under layers of paint in Mexican Church

A mural of an Aztec rabbit God of alcohol is not something anyone expects to see inside a church, but that is exactly what workers in Mexico discovered. A team of restorers hired to repair the building’s main structure was astounded aback when they noticed pre-Hispanic iconography in a Catholic Church in Tepotzlán, Mexico.

According to a news release from Mexico’s Ministry of Culture and National Institute of Anthropology and History on October 3, the former Convent of the Nativity in Tepoztlán was constructed in the 16th century as a component of the first Catholic monastery built in the region. After a 2017 earthquake, renovation work on the old convent started.

Underneath layers of paint on the walls of three open-air chapels, archaeologists noticed part of a red circle, archaeologists said. They expected the coloring to reveal a painting, the Virgin Mary, or Jesus Christ. But they were wrong.

Photo from Mexico’s Ministry of Culture and National Institute of Anthropology and History

The mural is made up of a red circle about one meter in diameter. There are renderings of several pre-Columbian images within the circle, including an axe, a chimalli or shield, a sprig of flowers, and a feathered headdress or “penacho,” which was traditionally worn by an Aztec aristocrat.

Due to the fragile nature of the feathers and other organic materials, very few penachos have been discovered, and there are very few wall-based images of them. The Welt Museum, an ethnographic museum in Vienna, Austria, currently holds the most well-known example of the actual headdress, the Moctezuma headdress. In 2021, the museum turned down a request to loan the item to an exhibition in Mexico.

The faded red paint formed a well-preserved red circle, about 4 inches thick, experts said.

The circle measured 11 centimeters (4,33 in.) thick and just over a meter (39,37 in.) in diameter. These dimensions match those of a 16th century Marian shield that was also painted in the Posa chapels.

Archaeologists during excavation work at the Convent of Tepoztlán where uncovered pre-Hispanic paintings. (Frida Mateos / INAH)
Archaeologists during excavation work at the Convent of Tepoztlán where uncovered pre-Hispanic paintings. (Frida Mateos / INAH)

The archaeologists said the painted chimalli “connects the current population of Tepoztlán with their ancestry.” Furthermore, their report claimed that the painting was evidence of “transformations of Tepoztecan society.

Tepoztlán is in the Mexican state of Morelos, south of Mexico City, and is part of El Tepozteco National Park. Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec divine feathered serpent, is said to have been born here. This site was once dominated by the Aztec Tepozteco pyramid, which was built on a dramatic cliff top above the town.

The former monastery, the Tepoztlán Ex-Convento de la Natividad (Convent of Tepoztlán), was built between 1555 and 1580 AD.

This native red circle’s use in a Christian building, right next to an anagram of the Virgin Mary, has raised the question: what is an Aztec god of alcohol and drunkenness doing in a 16th-century Christian church?

The excavation was funded by the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the First Popocatépetl Monasteries project.

INAH

Banner
Related Post

The latest discovery at the villa Civita Giuliana, north of Pompeii, the remains of a slave room

7 November 2021

7 November 2021

Ella IDE Pompeii archaeologists announced Saturday the discovery of the remnants of a “slave room” in an exceedingly unusual find...

Rescue work begins on a 160-year-old shipwreck, the largest and best-preserved wooden shipwreck ever discovered underwater in China

3 March 2022

3 March 2022

Rescue work has begun on a 160-year-old shipwreck in China, the largest and best-preserved wooden wreck ever discovered underwater. This...

Ceremonial cave site from Postclassic Maya period discovered in Yucatán Peninsula

21 December 2021

21 December 2021

Archaeologists have discovered a ceremonial cave site in Chemuyil on the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, that dates from the Postclassic Maya...

In the ancient city of Syedra: a unique mosaic with the 12 labors of Heracles depicted on a single panel found

25 July 2022

25 July 2022

During the excavations in the ancient city of Syedra in the Alanya district of Antalya, approximately 164 square meters of...

Archaeologists Uncover lost Indigenous Settlement of Sarabay, Florida

9 June 2021

9 June 2021

The University of North Florida archaeological team is now quite sure that they have uncovered Sarabay, a lost Indigenous northeast...

Colossae Ancient City Excavation Works Begin

8 September 2021

8 September 2021

Excavations of the ancient city of Colossae, located in the Honaz district of Denizli province in western Turkey, are starting...

9 Synagogues in Izmir to Reopen as Museum

26 March 2022

26 March 2022

As part of a Jewish heritage project in Izmir, Turkey, nine historic synagogues will be reopened as museums. Built by...

Remains of a 5-year-old girl found under Real Alcázar in Spain

9 May 2021

9 May 2021

The body of a five-year-old fair-haired girl who lived in the late Middle Ages and was most likely of noble...

1,400-year-old royal hall found in Suffolk, UK

5 October 2022

5 October 2022

Archaeologists, evidence of a 1,400-year-old royal Hall of the first Kings of East Anglia has been discovered in Rendlesham, Suffolk,...

3600-year-old lead weights were unearthed in the Kumluca Bronze Age Shipwreck, one of the oldest shipwrecks in the world

27 November 2022

27 November 2022

Underwater archaeological work continues in the Bronze Age shipwreck off Antalya Kumluca, one of the oldest shipwrecks in the world....

The first time in Anatolia, a legionnaires’ cemetery belonging to the Roman Empire unearthed

18 November 2022

18 November 2022

In the ancient city of Satala, in the Kelkit district of Gümüşhane in the Eastern Black Sea region of Turkey,...

Will the Siloam Inscription be returned to Israel?

12 March 2022

12 March 2022

During the visit of Israeli President Isaac Herzog to Turkey, the claim that he wanted the Siloam Inscription, one of...

Archaeologists have discovered 85 ancient tombs, a watchtower, and a temple site in Egypt’s Gabal al-Haridi region

5 May 2022

5 May 2022

The Egyptian archaeological mission discovered 85 tombs, a watchtower, and a temple site in the Gabal al-Haridi area of Sohag,...

Scientists unlock the ‘Cosmos’ on the Antikythera Mechanism

13 March 2021

13 March 2021

Scientists may have finally made a complete digital model of the 2000-year-old Cosmos panel of a mechanical device called the...

The Roman Imperial period, There was Less Waste in the Production of Marble Slabs than Today

17 May 2021

17 May 2021

When talking about the architecture of the ancient Roman Empire, most people usually think of the mental image of white...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *