500yo Aztec snake head statue unearthed in Mexico earthquake

A large, vibrant statue of a snake’s head from the Aztec empire has been revealed to the general public after an earthquake in Mexico shook it free final yr.

The massive sculpture, which dates again greater than 500 years, was unearthed from beneath a legislation college in modern-day Mexico Metropolis, which was as soon as a part of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire.

It was found after a magnitude-7.6 earthquake hit town on September 19 final yr, inflicting harm to elements of the Nationwide Autonomous College of Mexico.

The snake’s head has now been proven to the general public for the primary time.

The massive, gorgeous snake’s head is 1.8 metres lengthy, one metre excessive and 0.85 metres vast, and weighs about 1200 kilos, Mexico’s Nationwide Institute of Anthropology and Historical past (INAH) stated in a press release in Spanish.

Maybe most hanging is its fantastically preserved colors, with about 80 per cent of the paint on the sculpture — together with purple, blue, black and white colors — nonetheless seen.

To maintain it preserved, an INAH workforce lifted the snake’s head out of the bottom with a crane and constructed a humidity chamber round it. The chamber allowed the sculpture to lose humidity progressively, with its color being preserved, María Barajas Rocha, a conservationist with the INAH, stated.

Erika Robles Cortés, an archaeologist with the INAH, stated the sculpture’s colors helped to shed new mild on pre-Hispanic artwork.

“Because of the context wherein this piece was found, however above all, because of the stupendous intervention of the restorers-conservators led by María Barajas, it has been doable to stabilise the colors for its preservation in nearly all of the sculpture, which is extraordinarily necessary, as a result of the colors have helped us to conceive pre-Hispanic artwork from one other perspective,” he informed LiveScience.

The Aztecs worshipped and constructed temples in honour of quite a few deities, together with Quetzalcoatl, a god that was usually depicted as a feathered serpent. It’s unclear whether or not this snake’s head depicts him, archaeologists concerned within the challenge stated.

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