Giant Aztec Snake Head Sculpture Uncovered After Mexico Earthquake
GIANT AZTEC SNAKE HEAD SCULPTURE UNCOVERED AFTER MEXICO EARTHQUAKE
On September 19, 2022, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck Mexico City, damaging several buildings and revealing lost works of art. A large 500-year-old sculpture was discovered in shifting ground near the historic centre of the metropolis. This discovery turned out to have a direct connection to the Aztec Empire. The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) sent a team to the site and recovered the huge artefact.
It measures 5.9 feet long, 3.2 feet high, and 2.7 feet wide and features a giant snakehead. Weighing 1.2 tons, the surface of the stone is carefully carved and features large eyes, a half-open mouth, and numerous scales. Remarkably, the sculpture was found in excellent condition, with around 80% of its surface still retaining its centuries-old ocher, red, blue, black, and white pigments.
"These pigments represent a famous example of the colour palette used by Mexicans to decorate religious statues and temples, but due to the mineral and plant materials from which they are made, they are extremely fragile,” said Barajas Rocha of INAH. He said. Therefore, the snake head sculpture was placed in a secure airtight humidity chamber where the team could monitor it. Hopefully, you can slowly remove moisture from the rock without damaging the paint or the stone. The meaning of the snake's head is still unknown. Snakes play an important role in Aztec mythology and represent fertility and rebirth. This carving may also be related to the god Quetzalcoatl, who is often depicted as a feathered serpent.