David Carrasco

Harvard Travels to Mexico – Part Three

Part Three.  The imagery and artistic talent of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera is widely known, and we were privileged to visit remarkable examples of their work, including their home, La Casa Azul.

Mexican Art by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera was at the center of our third day. Our tour began in Chapultepec Park at the Cárcamo de Dolores where a monument to the control of the Lerma River by Mexican scientists presents two of Rivera’s creations. An outdoor sculpture of Tlaloc and the interior mural “Agua, el origen de la vida” (Water, source of life) focused our attention and awe. Professor María Luisa Parra guided us through Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul later in the day.

Photos courtesy of Ryan Christopher Jones.

David Carrasco

Harvard Travels to Mexico – Part Two

Part Two.  The Templo Mayor captured our attention and imagination as we visited with Eduardo Matos Moctezuma and saw the results of decades of excavation that continues to reveal the past.

Harvard visitors to the Eduardo Matos Moctezuma Catedra continued the tour prepared by Professor Davíd Carrasco with a visit to downtown Mexico City, arriving at the Zocalo in spite of large protests nearby. After some time spent in the Cathedral, we met Professor Matos at the entrance to the Templo Mayor for a tour of architecture, artifacts, and ofrendas in the current excavation. The evening brought us together at the home of Jose Antonio Alonso and his wife Karen Beckmann for a lovely dinner celebrating Dr. Diana Magaloni, scheduled to present the lecture on the following evening.

Photos courtesy of Ryan Christopher Jones.

David Carrasco

Harvard Travels to Mexico – Part One

On the occasion of the 3rd Eduardo Matos Moctezuma Catedra, held on October 8, 2019 in Mexico City, a group headed out from Harvard at the invitation of Davíd Carrasco, director of the Moses Mesoamerican Archive. The purpose was to educate ourselves about various stages of Mexican history and to visit places where history was made and cultural beginnings took shape.  We invite you to enjoy a glimpse of the highlights of this trip through a series of four slideshows.

Part One.  The journey began by traveling to Teotihuacan, the ancient archeological complex which was once a flourishing pre-Columbian city.

First stop for the travelers from Harvard was Teotihuacan, the City of the Gods. Besides being inspired by the Sun and Moon pyramids, we were welcomed by the Mexican Arqueólogo Sergio Gómez Chávez. Sergio discovered and directed the excavation of the fabulous ritual tunnel forty feet below the surface of the Ciudadela. We were privileged to descend into the tunnel and witness the amazing excavation and some of its most impressive discoveries. Later we also visited the museum, an ancient apartment compound, and the new excavation where evidence of Maya occupation has animated new scholarship.

Photos courtesy of Ryan Christopher Jones.

Eduardo Matos

Templo Mayor

Dear Colleagues and Watchers of Mesoamerica

Our second video clip from “Harvard in Mexico” shows us visiting the Great Aztec Temple site where Eduardo Matos Moctezuma and Leonardo Lopez Lujangreet and teach us. See Dean David Hempton of the Harvard Divinity School arriving at the edge of the Great Temple with others and then descend into the archaeological site where EduardoMatos Moctezuma explains the basic cosmovision of the Aztec capital with visuals to illustrate the dualism and four quartered city. Leonardo Lopez Lujan meets us at the underground dig of an earlierstage of the Great Aztec Temple and points John Philip Santos and others toward sacred offerings.

David Carrasco

The Life and Three Voices of Carlos Fuentes

David Carrasco gave the Alfonso Reyes Lecture “The Life and Three Voices of Carlos Fuentes” at Tecnologia de Monterrey University. Here he appears before a photo of Carlos Fuentes, Toni Morrison, Eduardo Matos Moctezuma and friends at the home of Carlos and Sylvia Lemus in 1995.

Eduardo Matos Moctezuma

Eduardo Matos Moctezuma Lecture Series

In 2017 Harvard inaugurated the Eduardo Matos Moctezuma lecture series, the first time in Harvard’s history that a lecture series has honored a Mexican. Watch this video to join the celebration of the exemplary careers of Eduardo Matos Moctezuma and his friend Alfredo López Austin who gave the 2018 lecture.

This short, powerful video taken at the Museo Nacional de Antropología e História in Mexico City shows clips of the night Alfredo gave his terrific lecture “El Día que Salío el Sol: Trece Pasos y un Canto”. See Matos, David Carrasco and especially Maestro Alfredo speaking, being honored on stage and then adored by his young students, admirers and colleagues while signing autographs.

This event was sponsored by the Moses Mesoamerican Archive, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and the Divinity School at Harvard University. Video by Joseph Tovares.

Carrasco Library of Congress

PBS TV series Native America

David Carrasco Jim Enote David Carrasco Jim Enote

David Carrasco with Zuni farmer, scholar and river guide Jim Enote at the launch for PBS TV series “Native America” at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Los Angeles. Enote and Carrasco are featured in several of the four episodes that will air starting October 23rd.

Carrasco Library of Congress

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead – We’re live on a special tour of the Day of the Dead exhibit at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology with HDS Professor Davíd Carrasco.

Conferencia Inaugural de la Cátedra Eduardo Matos Moctezuma de la Universidad de Harvard

La Universidad de Harvard ha establecido la Cátedra Eduardo Matos Moctezuma (The Eduardo Matos Moctezuma Lecture Series), la primera en casi 400 años de historia de la universidad en honor de un mexicano. La conferencia inaugural de la Cátedra Matos Moctezuma tendrá lugar el martes 3 de octubre, a las 19:00 horas, en el Auditorio Jaime Torres Bodet del Museo Nacional de Antropología. Se contará con la presencia de autoridades e investigadores de Harvard: Mark Elliott, Vice-director de Asuntos Internacionales; Mark Schwartz, Profesor de Historia de Asia y China; Brian Farrell, Director del David Rockefeller para Estudios Latinoamericanos y profesor de Biología Organísmica y Evolutiva; David Hempton, Decano de la Facultad de Teología; Alonzo L. McDonald Family, Profesor de Estudios Teológicos Evangélicos; John Lord O’Brian, Profesor de Teología; así como autoridades del INAH: Diego Prieto, Director General; Antonio Saborit, Director del Museo Nacional de Antropología, y Patricia Ledesma, Directora del Museo del Templo Mayor.

Carrasco Library of Congress


Welcome back to the Mesoamerican Archive blog. You will recall our first blog consisted of the ‘chispa’ or spark of the Archive’s research conferences as Davíd Carrasco’s gave some introductory remarks at the 1979 conference “Center and Periphery and the Aztec Empire”.  Now we move to the ‘fire’ of our collaborative research as we hear an excerpt of Eduardo Matos Moctezuma’s initial interpretation at the conference on the Aztec pattern of ‘archetype and repetition’.   Listen as Mexico’s greatest living archaeologist describes how the amazing discoveries of the monumental Coyolxauhqui stone, the serpent heads adorning ceremonial platforms, and the vertical and horizontal symmetry of the Templo Mayor led him and his colleagues to elaborate on how the Aztec myth of the birth of the solar deity Huitzilopochtli was replicated in material form at the Templo Mayor.   Matos shows in clear detail how Hutizilpochtli’s mythical destruction of Coyolxauhqui and the centzon huitznahua, representing the moon and the stars, was materially represented in remarkable detail at the excavation which was still in an early stage. Many of you won’t need the accompanying translation by a member of the department of Spanish who was just then learning about the names and meanings of Aztec myth and architecture.