Coyolxauhqui - Sister of Huitzilopoxtli
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Sculptured by the Mexicas of Tenochtitlan, Mexico
On the night of the 21st of February 1978, employees of the Mexico
City Electric Light Company were found working in the very heart of Mexico
City, on the corner of the Guatemala and Argentina streets. They had penetrated
the thick layer of concrete pavement and had dug down approximately seven
feet when they came across a hard rock that prevented them from continuing.
After removing the layer of mud that covered it, they noticed that the
stone had a series of reliefs on it, so they decided to stop work until
the following day. After telephoning the Archaeological Rescue Office of
the Mexican National Institute of History and Anthropology, archaeological
equipment was sent over to the place to find out what was happening. It
wasn't until the 23rd of February that it was definitely established that
the find was, in effect, part of a piece of sculpture in which one could
make out the profile of an adorned head. Under the control of the archaeologists,
work continued on the rescue until the 27th of the month. The piece of
stone turned out to be an enormous monolith of 3.25 meters in diameter.
The upper part was sculpted with a relief of a decapitated nude woman with
her arms and legs separated from the body. It represents the
Coyolxauhqui, sister of Huitzilopoxtli, who according to the Mexica History, had
been killed by her brother on the hill of Coatepec (snake hill), after
a single handed combat.
The figure you see above is the stone sculpture the Electric Light
Company employees found.
This find precipitated a renewed interest to excavate and investigate
the Great Aztec or Mexica Temple right in the center of today's Mexico
City. The site now has a museum and is open to the public.