The goal of the eagle warrior was to capture the greatest number of captives, who would then be sacrificed to the Mexica gods. All warriors rose in rank according to the number of captives they acquired.

Eagle Warrior (Mexica)

Codex Borgia
Thirty-three feet long, the Codex Borgia records historical, ritual, mythological, and botanical information.

Codex Borgia

The turquoise, shell and other materials used on this mask were collected from the far reaches of the Aztec empire.

Mosaic mask of Tezcatlipoca

Snakes shedding their skin was a powerful metaphor for the Aztecs and is reflected in their pantheon of gods.

Double-headed serpent

During the twelfth century C.E. the Aztec (or Mexica*) were a small and obscure tribe searching for a new homeland.

More on the Aztecs (Mexica)

This vessel represents the goggle-eyed deity associated with rain and crops, critical for the agricultural Aztecs.

Tlaloc vessel

Coyolxauhqui Monolith
The family drama that lead to Coyolxuahqui’s dismemberment represented here has great soap opera potential.

Coyolxauhqui Monolith

Feathered headdress
The Mexica were long-distance traders, and Tenochtitlan received luxury goods from distant conquered cities.

Aztec feathered headdress

This goddess has clawed feet, and wears a necklace of body parts and the snake-skirt from which she takes her name.