Templo Mayor MuseumApril 5 in Mexico
We were thrilled by our walk through the old Aztec ruins but as we came to the end of the walk through the ruins, we came to the museum. Once again we were pleasantly surprised by how amazing it was!
The museum of the Templo Mayor was built in 1987 to house the Templo Mayor Project and its finds—a project which continues work to this day. The Templo Mayor Project’s mission is to excavate the oldest area of the city, around the main plaza. The museum building was built by architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, who envisioned ‘a discreet structure that would blend in with the colonial surroundings’. The museum has four floors, three of which are for permanent exhibitions and the fourth has offices for the director, museum administration and research staff.
As we walked in, we saw a model of what Tenochtitlan looked like before the Spaniards arrived.
The museum has eight main exhibition halls, called "salas", each dedicated to a different theme.
Room 1 is dedicated to the goddesses Coatlicue and Coyalxauhqui, mother and sister to Huitzlipochtli, respectively. The first temple artifacts, which were found in the 19th Century, are located in this room associated with the temple, as well the huge stone disk of Coyolxauhqui, which initiated the Templo Mayor Project.
This huge stone disc of Coyolxauhqui (She of Bells on her Cheek) is the pride of the place. We were able to see it more clearly from the top-floor. She is shown decapitated, the result of her murder by Huizilopochtli, her brother, who also killed his 400 brothers en route to becoming the top god.
Room 2 is dedicated to the rituals and sacrifice in Tenochtitlan. This room contains urns where dignitaries, who had died, were placed, funerary offerings, as well as objects associated with self and human sacrifice—such as musical instruments, knives and skulls.
Room 3 demonstrates the economics of the Aztec empire in the form of tribute and trade, with examples of finished products and raw materials from many parts of Mesoamerica.
Sala 4 is dedicated to the god Huitzilopochtli. His shrine at the temple was the most important and largest. This room contains various images of him as well as offerings. Also located here are the two large ceramic statues of the god Mictlantecuhtli which were found in the House of the Eagle Warriors who were dedicated to Huitzilopochtli.
Room 5 is dedicated to Tlaloc, the other principal deity of the Aztecs and one of the oldest in Mesoamerica. This room contains various images of the god usually worked in green or volcanic stone or in ceramic. The most prized work is a large pot with the god’s face in high relief that still preserves much of the original blue paint.
Room 6 is dedicated to the flora and fauna of Mesoamerica at this time, as most contained divine aspects for the Aztecs. Also many of the offerings found at the Templo Mayor were or were made from various plants and animals.
Room 7 contains exhibits of the agricultural technology of the time, especially in the growing of corn and the construction of chinampas, the so-called "floating gardens".
The last room is Room 8, which is dedicated to the archeology and history of the site.
There were so many interesting things to see during the 3+ hours that we spent here. It was well worth the 70 pesos or $4.91 Cdn admission fee!Read more