Overview

 

This Tlaltecuhtli stone sculpture was discovered in the Metro excavation of Mexico City in 1967. Doris Heyden, a prominent scholar of pre-Columbia Mesoamerican cultures, identified the sculpture as “Coatlicue del Metro” [Coatlicue of the metro] because of its similar visual description with the famous colossal coatlicue. Although she identified this sculpture as “Coalicue of the metro,” Doris Heyden did note that “the face of the statue is Tlatecuhtli, the earth deity” (1).

 

Nowadays, you can see this monument in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. Its uniqueness reflects on that this monument is the only three-dimensional representation of Tlaltecuhtli we have known in Aztec art. In other occasions, Tlaltecuhtli often shows as the ground of an interior space, at the base of boxes, on the top of the stone thrones as a flat sculptural surface. Hence, this sculpture was probably placed in a temple to let the viewers see from different sides in order to gain a general idea of how the deity would look like.

 

Overview