Maya and Aztec

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations

Maya worshiped mexican deity Tlaloc

Category: News reports

INAH, may, 2009. A long and intense drought and famine registered more than a millennium ago in Uxmal region, Yucatan, favored the veneration of Chaac, the rain deity, as well as Tlaloc, the Aztec equivalent. Several sculptural representations of the Mexica god were found at the Maya city. Jose Huchim Herrera, Uxmal Archaeological Zone and Puuc Route director, informed that Tlaloc representations can be appreciated in structures such as the Figureheads Tower, the Nuns and some reliefs at the top of the Sorcerer’s Temple.

Both examples of adoption of foreign customs by Maya people have been dated between 906 and 950 AD, when a terrible draught was registered. Although veneration of Tlaloc can be interpreted as a “lack of faith” in their rain deity; it was more a “support request”, without meaning displacement of Chaac, declared the archaeologist.

Decorated friezes dated from 950 AD refer to the regional drought, and coincide with data of a stratigraphic column at a cenote near Uxmal, where an inscription describes the same period of fertility problems, mentioned the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) expert. “In a given moment, facing a strong crisis in their cities as a long draught, contact with foreign successful models could have motivated “using” them by their own will, without this being an imposition”, commented.

At Uxmal Prehispanic Site, Tlaloc’s face was represented with 2 intertwined serpents; their bodies form the rings around the eyes and a nose, and the reptiles’ jaws give shape to the canines that characterized Tlaloc. Other examples of incorporation of foreign cultural elements are present in architecture, such as ballgame courts or Chac Mool, adopted by several Mesoamerican peoples.

The Uxmal Archaeological Zone director referred that the lack of water could explain the complex hydraulic system found in the region.

Source: INAH.

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