Tenochtitlan (Mexique): 400 Animal Species Were Offered to Gods

Archaeologists Say 400 Animal Species Were Offered to Gods in Tenochtitlan

Source - http://www.hispanicallyspeakingnews.com/latino-daily-news/details/archaeologists-say-400-animal-species-were-offered-to-gods-in-tenochtitlan/25013/

Photos : INAH


Source - http://www.inah.gob.mx/boletines/6-museos-y-exposiciones/6606-mas-de-400-especies-animales-eran-ofrendadas-en-templo-mayor

VIDEO = http://www.youtube.com/embed/0n8s6qNKUNE


Grandes mamíferos como lobos, pumas y jaguares han sido hallados en ofrendas en el Templo Mayor.

Mexican archaeologists have identified more than 400 animal species in some 60 offerings made to the gods at the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, including molluscs, fish, birds, reptiles and mammals, the National Institute of Anthropology and History, or INAH, said.


Distintas especies de aves, entre ellas colibríes, han sido descubiertas en las ofrendas.

The scientists have recovered, “for example, fish from coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean, reptiles including crocodiles, snakes and turtles, as well as birds like toucans and quetzals, and large mammals from the tropics like the jaguar,” INAH biologist Norma Valentin Maldonado said Friday.


Arqueólogos del INAH han determinado los diferentes tipos de fauna que se usaron en rituales.

“Such fauna has been found in sacrifices to the rain god Tlaloc and to Huitzilopochtli, god of war, from the fourth to the seventh stages (1440-1520) of the Great Temple’s construction. The animals are alway exotic species, spectacularly beautiful, or with rough, spiny hides, sometimes dangerous or venomous,” she said.


Representación en piedra del caparazón de tortuga, con una deidad al frente

Valentin said that several of the animals were the object of a kind of ancient taxidermy, in which some of the bones were left inside to maintain the shape of the skin and keep it from ripping.

As for the large mammals, she said that around six wolves, two jaguars, 13 pumas and a single bone from the back leg of a wildcat have been identified and studied.

According to the expert, “molluscs have the greatest presence in the Mexica offerings; in just about all the sacrifices at least one of them is found, so that some 300 species have been reported in the Great Temple from both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.”


Dentro de la cultura tenochca, las conchas, erizos, corales, moluscos y restos de peces simbolizaban el inframundo.

“Next in abundance are 60 fish species, chiefly from coral reefs,” she said.


En el Recinto Sagrado de Tenochtitlan, se han localizado 160 distintas ofrendas

The ritual use of all these animal species and their symbolism will be presented beginning June 8 at a round of conferences at the recently opened Gallery 6 “Flora and Fauna” in the Great Temple, adjacent to the capital’s principal square, the Zocalo.