Located in the heart of Mexico City, right next to its main plaza – Templo Mayor was the main temple of what is now the vast capital of Mexico. The temple displays two shrines, each dedicated to two important Aztec gods: Huitzilopochtli and Tláloc. It was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987.
A museum was constructed right next to the site to give its visitors a better insight into the history of the place. The museum is divided into eight sections:
Archaeological Antecedents – Features archaeological objects and sculptures that have been found since 1790. The most recognizable ones are the Cuahxicalli Eagle, the head of the god Xólotl, and examples of offerings found in Templo Mayor.
Ritual and Sacrifice – Visitors will be able to see objects used for rituals and sacrifices in the Aztec culture and learn about sacrifices, including auto-sacrifices for their gods that involved piercing their own ears and parts of their bodies using bones and knives.
Tribute and Commerce – This section showcases objects used for tribute as well as commerce among other cultures. The favorite objects found here are the Teotihuacan mask, the Olmec mask and the Xipe-Tótec.
Hutzilopochtli – This section is dedicated to Huitzilopochtli (“Left-Handed Hummingbird”), the god of war for the Aztecs and their belief in him and his teachings made the Aztec culture the most powerful during the Post-Classic period.
Tláloc – Tláloc was the god of divine water for the Aztecs and they often sacrificed sick children as tribute to him due to importance of rain for agriculture in the region. Tláloc is heavily represented all over Templo Mayor and other archaeological sites with thunders, corals, fish, frogs, conches, and swirls of waters carved into rocks and temples. This section is entirely dedicated to him.
Flora and Fauna – This section is dedicated to the plants and animals the Aztecs used for rituals and sacrifices in Templo Mayor. It is obvious that animals meant a lot to this culture when you see how they represented them in stone carvings and the fact that many of their gods and deities were represented by animals.
Agriculture – This section is dedicated to agriculture and the objects the Aztec used as well as many deities they paid tribute to in order for their crops to grow without problems such as Chalchiuhtlicue, the goddess of lagoons – the sea and rivers and Chicomecóatl , the goddess of livelihood. A selection of objects used by indigenous communities in the present is also showcased here.
Colonial and Modern Periods – Dedicated to the Spanish artifacts and influence found in Templo Mayor after Spain conquered the Aztecs.