• Fri. Mar 31st, 2023

Painting Linked to Aztec God of Drunkenness Discovered in 16th Century Mexican Convent!


Oct 14, 2022

Archaeologists working at a Mexican holy website thought they had been rediscovering a misplaced picture of the Virgin Mary. However Mary by no means wore a feather plume, and infrequently was she depicted inside pink circles. The pre-Hispanic mural turned out to be a illustration of a Mesoamerican protect, associated to the Aztec god of alcohol and drunkenness Tepoztecatl!

Valeria López Mancera throughout restoration work of the pre-Hispanic portray on the Convent of Tepoztlán. (Jose Morales / INAH)

Aztec Mural Discovered on Convent Facade

Tepoztlán metropolis is situated within the Mexican state of Morelos, to the south of Mexico City , inside El Tepozteco Nationwide Park. That is the legendary birthplace of Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec divine feathered serpent. In historic occasions this website was dominated by the Aztec Tepozteco pyramid that was constructed on a dramatic cliff prime above the city.

The previous Dominican monastery, the Tepoztlán Ex-Convento de la Natividad (Convent of Tepoztlán), was constructed between 1555 and 1580 AD. Devoted to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Travel by Mexico defined that this “Dominican Temple has a big atrium, an open chapel, chapel posas or quadrangular vaulted buildings situated on the fringe of the courtyard, the church, and convent.”

In 1993, INAH archaeologists started restoring the convent facade which depicts the Virgin Mary , Fray Domingo de Guzman (founding father of the order of Dominica) and Saint Catherine of Siena. Virtually 30 years later, INAH introduced {that a} staff of researchers had made a highly-unexpected discovery. Painted on the partitions of three poza chapels they discovered “uncommon pre-Hispanic iconography” related to an Aztec god!

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

Archaeologists throughout excavation work on the Convent of Tepoztlán the place they uncovered pre-Hispanic portray. (Frida Mateos / INAH)

The excavation was funded by the UNESCO World Heritage Record as a part of the First Popocatépetl Monasteries venture. Frida Itzel Mateos González, the venture chief, defined that the researchers had undertaken restoration of a number of artworks, together with mural work and carved stones.

In keeping with the INAH report, the researchers first eliminated a number of layers of lime that lined the work in Chapel 4. To their shock, they found “a well-preserved pink circle” courting again to the early sixteenth century. The circle measured 11 centimeters (4,33 in.) thick and simply over a meter (39,37 in.) in diameter. These dimensions match these of a sixteenth century Marian shield that was additionally painted within the Posa chapels.

The researchers mentioned the pink circle was painted freehand with diluted pink paint earlier than it was then full of glazes. The staff subsequent charted a collection of triangles which they incorrectly assumed had been a part of the “crown or splendor of the Virgin Mary.” Nevertheless, it was quickly realized that this was really a plume of feathers like that seen in lots of Aztec murals!

Restoration work taking place on the pre-Historic painting discovered in Mexico. (Jose Morales / INAH)

Restoration work happening on the pre-Historic portray found in Mexico. (Jose Morales / INAH)

Historic Chimalli – A Pre-Hispanic Protect

Additionally painted throughout the pink circle was a wand with flowers and a tepoztli (ax). This was no Christian panel, however an historic chimalli, the normal defensive armament of the indigenous states of Mesoamerica, which had been typically adorned with feathers, jade strings and seashells.

The archaeologists mentioned the painted chimalli “connects the present inhabitants of Tepoztlán with their ancestry.” Moreover, their report claimed that the portray was proof of “transformations of Tepoztecan society.” The Art Newspaper highlighted that “it’s potential that the brand new discover pertains to Tepoztecatl” the Aztec god of pulque, an alcoholic Aztec drink, who was worshiped on the close by El Tepozteco website. Tepoztecatl was additionally the god of drunkenness and fertility.

The INAH archaeologists acknowledged {that a} comparable circle seems on the partitions of Chapels 2 and three on the Convent of Tepoztlán . This repeated utilization of the identical indigenous picture, and in a single occasion proper beside an anagram of the Virgin Mary in a Christian constructing, has raised the query – what’s a mural related to the Aztec god of alcohol and drunkenness doing in a 16 th century Christian church?

High picture: Hand-drawn illustration superimposed over a photograph of the pre-Hispanic portray. Supply: Frida Mateos / INAH

By Ashley Cowie

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