Excavating the Great Aztec Temple: Achievements and Perspectives


(Cambridge, March 14, 2011) The Templo Mayor was the tallest structure in the ceremonial precinct of the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, located in what is now Mexico City.

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology presents the illustrated talk, "Excavating the Great Aztec Temple: Achievements and Perspectives'" by Eduardo Matos Moctezuma on Thursday, April 14, 2011 at Harvard's Geological Lecture Hall (24 Oxford St.). The lecture will be in Spanish with English translation. A public reception will follow at the Peabody Museum.

For 30 years, the internationally renowned archaeologist Eduardo Matos Moctezuma directed the monumental excavation of the Great Temple. He will both summarize the major discoveries during the project and illustrate the most recent finds in downtown Mexico City. Under his leadership, Mexican archaeology achieved new levels of excellence in the ways they deciphered the symbolism and meanings of thousands of artifacts uncovered at the Great Temple. They found colossal statues, painted vessels, superimposed pyramids, animal and human sacrifices as well as precious miniatures. Matos Moctezuma will also interpret the most recent major discoveries of the colossal monolith of the Earth Goddess Tlaltecuhtli and the rich offerings surrounding her image, as featured in the November 2010 National Geographic.

About the Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum is among the oldest archaeological and ethnographic museums in the world with one of the finest collections of human cultural history found anywhere. It is home to superb materials from Africa, ancient Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, Oceania, and South America in particular. In addition to its archaeological and ethnographic holdings, the Museum’s photographic archives, one of the largest of its kind, hold more than 500,000 historical photographs, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and chronicling anthropology, archaeology, and world culture.

Hours and location: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., seven days a week. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The Peabody Museum is located at 11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Museum is a short walk from the Harvard Square MBTA station. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for children, 3–18. Free with Harvard ID or Museum membership. The Museum is free to Massachusetts residents Sundays, 9 A.M. to noon, year round, and Wednesdays from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. (September to May). Admission includes admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. For more information call 617-496-1027 or go online to: www.peabody.harvard.edu.

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El Templo Mayor 5. Photo by Adam Clyde. Creative Commons license.

Thursday, April 14, 2011: "Excavating the Great Aztec Temple: Achievements and Perspectives"

Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, General Coordinator, Great Aztec Temple Project

In Spanish, with English translation

5:30 PM Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge, followed by a public reception at the Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge


Information: 617-496-1027 or www.peabody.harvard.edu/calendar