Spectacular exhibition on the Aztecs in Montreal

Spectacular exhibition on the Aztecs in Montreal

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The Montreal History and Archaeological Museum, Pointe-à-Callière, hosts the great international exhibition «The Aztecs, people of the sun»Since May 30 until next October 25, 2015.

Visitors will have the unique opportunity to know everything about the civilization that founded the fabulous city of Tenochtitlan, capital of Aztec empire and the place where Mexico City was built after the conquest of the Spanish in 1521 and discover the dazzling world of the people who reigned throughout the territory of Mexico and beyond, for more than two centuries.

The exhibition is an initiative of the Montreal Museum of Archeology and History, Pinte-à-Callière, but has had the collaboration of the National Mexican Council for Culture and the Arts-National Institute of Anthropology and History, which has loaned Pointe-à -Callière about 265 objects from 16 Mexican museums, including the Museo del Templo Mayor, an archaeological museum similar to the Pointe-à-Callière, and the National Mexican Museum of Anthropology.

The tremendous variety of objects is spectacular: masks and statues, gold jewelry, figures of women, children and animals, stamps to create decorations in skin and fabrics, sculptures and objects that relate the sacrifices required to keep the Sun in its rotations, trunks and boxes for offerings, vases and ceramics, all reflections of the mysterious environment of this civilization.

The most remarkable thing about the Montreal exhibition is that includes some of the most extraordinary remains of the Aztec civilization. Two statues of the Templo Mayor, each weighing 250 kilos and a height of 170 centimeters, which will surely fascinate the imagination of visitors.

Also a terracotta statue of an eagle warrior, with sharp claws protruding from its front and back knees and an eagle's beak on its face that can also represent the rising of the Sun. This authentic work of art was found in the Casa de las Águilas, near Templo Mayor, and was used for rituals. For its part, the terracotta statue of Mictlantecuhlti shows the god of death.

Other objects with splendid colors, such as the vessel that characterizes Tlaloc, the god of rain, reveals much about the lifestyle of the Aztecs and their divinities. This vessel is considered one of the masterpieces of Aztec art and shows the god with his typical mask and his fangs, in his usual blue color. The shape of the pyramids in his headdress refers to the mountains where the Aztecs believed that Tlaloc stored the water that later fell as rain.

Tlaloc, god of rain.

A wooden mask inlaid with shell, turquoise and mother of pearl, is one of the few Aztec turquoise masks that has survived. It may be a reference to the god Quetzalcoatl, whose face emerges from the mouth of a serpent. This piece comes from the Luigi Pigorini National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography in Rome.

A ceramic piece with three faces, adorned with thirteen round gems, evokes the thirteen months of the sacred calendar, it is also an imposing object. It decorated a brazier or a funeral urn and showed the three phases of life: in the center, youth opening its eyes to the world, followed by an image of old age and then the face of inexorable death with closed eyes, being in as a whole a metaphor of the passage of time. This sublime work explains the principle of the dual cycle, of vital importance in Aztec thought, where life means reincarnation and death.

The exhibition focuses on the founding of Tenochtitlán, capital of Aztec empire, daily life, the Templo Mayor and of course the question of human sacrifices and Aztec calendars. Other themes from its rich history are also presented: the Aztec migration, guided by the god Huitzilopochtli, its incredible urban planning and the land used for this "Venice of Mexico", the Aztec art of war and the taxes paid by the conquered peoples. As well as his techniques for agriculture such as chinampas, ingenious floating gardens made the city self-sufficient.

Too the issue of the organization of Aztec society with its different classes is addressed, which addresses the role of women, education or the administration of justice. Aztec writing and the famous codices, manuscripts made of characters or pictograms showing the spoken language, are thoroughly examined. Religion, an essential and omnipresent part of Aztec society with its various deities and rituals, also has an important place in the exhibition.

Finally, the exhibition closes with a description of the Spanish conquest and the fall of the Aztec Empire and the legacy of this civilization in the present.

After studying History at the University and after many previous tests, Red Historia was born, a project that emerged as a means of dissemination where you can find the most important news of archeology, history and humanities, as well as articles of interest, curiosities and much more. In short, a meeting point for everyone where they can share information and continue learning.

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