Between 1325 and 1521, the Mexica people of the Aztec capital ritually buried hundreds of offerings to their gods in the depths of the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan, where for more than five hundred years these gifts lay undiscovered. In complex religious ceremonies, sacred messages to the gods were expressed not only through these objects but through their exact and symbolic placement as well.
In this revised edition of The Offerings of the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan, Leonardo Lopez Lujan shares and synthesizes the spectacular findings of the historic Templo Mayor Project, which took place in the heart of Mexico City from 1978 to 1997. Archaeologists found an astonishing array of items including masks, jewelry, skeletal remains of jaguars and alligators, statues of gods, precious stones, human remains, and countless objects from the oceans. Lopez Lujan's aim was to decipher the offerings' religious significance and explain the profound associations between the unearthed materials and ritual behavior. In doing so he relied on diverse data and several analytical techniques to determine such things as the exact date when the offerings were buried, the gods to whom they were dedicated, the festivals in which the gifts were made, and the meanings of the materials and their spatial distribution.