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.

Carrasco Library of Congress


Welcome to the Moses Mesoamerican Archive Blog. Each month we will present our viewers and listeners with a significant historical moment in the 35 year history of our collaborative work. This first blog entry is a recording, accompanied by photographs, that narrates the initial chispa, or spark, for the Archive, created by the meeting of Eduardo Matos Moctezuma and David Carrasco at the excavation of the Templo Mayor in 1979. Carrasco outlines how an existential moment in his development combined with an intellectual exchange led to the first Mesoamerican Archive 1979 conference entitled “Center & Periphery and the Aztec Empire”. This is a clear statement of how the disciplines of the history of religions and archaeology combined to form the academic and social program of the Archive that has produced new knowledge about Aztec urbanism and Mesoamerica’s history of religions. Enjoy and take note!


Exploring the Ancient City of Teotihuacan

Professor Davíd Carrasco has been to “the place where the gods were created.” That’s what the Aztecs called the monumental capital city of Teotihuacan centuries after its fall.

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Tunnel Beneath

Treasures from the Underworld of the City of the Gods:

Archaeological Explorations in the Tunnel Beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent

Archaeologist Sergio Gómez Chávez, Director of the Tlalocan Project, National Institute of Anthropology and History, Teotihuacan, Mexico

Come hear Archaeologist Sergio Gómez Chávez, one of Mexico’s leading young archaeologists, share the news about the stunning discoveries in the City of the Gods/Teotihuacan, Mexico. Below the ceremonial floor of the great plaza of the Feathered Serpent, his archaeological team found an immense ritual tunnel. For ten years they have worked in excavating this ancient and mysterious tunnel, using high-tech robots as well as their own hands to unearth over 50,000 ritual objects buried by Teotihuacan’s priests and rulers for reasons that are not yet known. Professor Gómez will present slides of the excavation never before seen in the United States.

Sponsored by David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Moses Mesoamerican Archive, Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, and Harvard Divinity School.

Free and open to the public Tuesday, October 6, 2015 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

CGIS South (1730 Cambridge Street), Room S030 on the Concourse Level


The Aztecs: A Very Short Introduction (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012) de David Carrasco se acaba de publicar en alemán: Die Azteken, traducción de Ulrich Bossier (Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam, 2015). Véase también la edición española: Los aztecas: Una breve introducción, traducción de Javier Alonso López (Madrid: Alianza, 2103).


Hoy iniciamos nuestra página “Últimas noticias” del sitio web del Moses Mesoamerican Archive con el anuncio de que estamos destacando el estudio muy importante sobre la Casa de las Águilas en el sitio arqueológico del Templo Mayor de los mexica. Publicado en 2006 con el apoyo del Mesoamerican Archive and Research Project en la Universidad de Harvard, del Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes y del Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México, La Casa de las Águilas: Un ejemplo de la arquitectura religiosa de Tenochtitlan (2 tomos) escrito por Leonardo López Luján es otro buen ejemplo de cómo la colaboración entre Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, David Carrasco y Leonardo López Luján dio lugar a un avance significativo en nuestra comprensión del mundo azteca.

David Carrasco
Director, Moses Mesoamerican Archive
Harvard University