Iconography

The Dedication Stone (Fig. 1) is a greenstone plaque commemorates the completion of the sixth stage of the Templo Mayor, in 1486, under the ruler Ahuitzotl.[1] [2] It is not known where the plaque was excavated, but it is assumed that it was placed on the wall of the temple during its use.[2] The bottom half of the stone depicts the date glyph, 8 Reed (8 Acatl), which corresponds to the year 1487.[2] Also depicted, though in the center of the top of the stone, is the date 7 Reed, which is assumed to be the date glyph that corresponds to the actual date of the temple’s dedication.[2] The top half of the stone additionally shows Ahuitzotl and his predecessor and brother, Tizoc.[2] Ahuitzotl is on the right and Tizoc is on the left, facing each other, and both are identified by their name glyphs.[2] In between the two is a zacatapayolli, which is underneath a gathering of leaves.[2] Ahuitzotl and Tizoc are shown to be in the middle of letting blood out of their ears, with bone instruments used for letting blood going through the top part of their ears.[2] The blood from their ears drains down into the earth, which is depicted as the opened mouth of a crocodile.[2] Both Tizoc and Ahuitzotl also bear wounds on their legs, indicating that they let blood out of their legs as well.[2] Tizoc and Ahuitzotl are wearing xicolli, which is a sleeveless tunic that was commonly worn by priests; the ones worn by Tizoc and Ahuitzotl have fringed bottoms.[2] On their heads, they wear aztaxelli, forked feather headdresses that were worn by warriors, but priests have been depicted wearing them as well.[2] Over their arms, Ahuitzotl and Tizoc carry a priest’s incense bag and there are smoking incense burners at their feet; these incense burners are also objects associated with priests.[2] Sahagún states that a new leader and his councilors wore priestly garments and associated objects and conducted ritual bloodletting as part of the induction ceremony.[2] Additionally, Ahuitzotl and Tizoc are wearing tobacco pouches, yequachitli, on their backs.[2] According to the Codex Magliabechiano, fringed xicolli and yequachitli are the electoral clothes of new leaders.[2] Thus, the Dedication Stone also commemorates the coronation of Ahuitzotl as the new Aztec leader, which occurred in 1486.[2]