Unseen Teotihuacan Treasures to Travel to Paris
MONTERREY ~ Rare artifacts from Teotihuacan, one of the ancient world’s largest cities, went on show in northern Mexico at the weekend ahead of a first overseas exhibition in Paris next year.
“Many of these pieces have never been shown to the public, some have barely left research laboratories,” said Felipe Solis Olguin, exhibition curator and director of the National Museum of Anthropology and History in the northern city of Monterrey, where the pieces are on show until January 2009.
“We want the public to realize the extraordinary past of the city of Teotihuacan, which survived more than 800 years.”
Between 100,000 and 200,000 people lived in Teotihuacan, some 45 kilometers northeast of present-day Mexico City, at its peak around 600 AD.
Its skyline was dominated by two enormous pyramids which the Aztecs called the “Pyramid of the Sun” and the “Pyramid of the Moon,” both linked by a broad avenue and still practically intact.
Some of the 426 objects on show in Monterrey are recent discoveries. They confirm that human sacrifices took place and that the city had an army, said archaeologist Ruben Cabrera Castro.
“We used to think it was a very theocratic and peaceful city. Today we know that it practiced large-scale sacrifices, and militarism existed,” Castro said.
One piece of frieze in the exhibition, recently discovered in the center of the former city, represents a jaguar wearing feathers.
“It exalts Teotihuacan’s power, represented by one of the most important feline gods,” Castro said.
The exhibition, Teotihuacan, City of the Gods, is due to travel to the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, France, in October 2009.