Offering to goddess reveals reach of late 15th century Aztec empire

In May 2008 a team of researchers forming part of the Templo Mayor project of the historic centre of Mexico City, discovered a large offering which had been placed underneath an enormous statue of the goddess Tlaltecuhtli.

Underneath Mexico City lie the ruins of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, and at its centre was the Templo Mayor. The project researchers believe that this offering was made during the reign of Ahuizotl, who was ruler of the Aztec empire for sixteen years, from 1486 to 1502, and in that time conquered 45 Mesoamerican territories.

Offering 126, the largest found so far at the Templo Mayor, is composed of almost 4,000 organic remains, of which three-fourths (3,045) are marine molluscs. Read more.


Second night. Tonight I laid a serving of my dinner on my altar and ate my own meal before it. I’m thinking hard about what we ask of ourselves when we do this work, the strains and stresses we experience, and how to manage them. The text of my prayer reads:

To honor you I honor myself.

Tonight I break bread with my ancestors. I offer them a share of food I have prepared for myself, with my hands, and I pour a drink for them of the same sweet cider I drink. When I prepare food for myself, I use care and love, and I think of those who were never able to feed and care for themselves. When I support and love my friends, I think of those who never had the support and love they needed. When I move my body joyfully and raise my voice to sing, I think of those who were never able to move or speak joyfully. The care I show myself is my offering to my ancestors: honoring myself, I honor you. 

- Janus