Ancient Map Offers Key to Mesoamerican History





A map painted by Mexican Indians in the mid-16th century has become a key document for understanding the migration of Mesoamerican peoples from their land of origin in what is now the U.S. Southwest, according to a scholar at Harvard University Divinity School.

"Five years of research and writing (2002-2007) by 15 scholars of Mesoamerican history show that this document, the Map of Cuauhtinchan 2, with more than 700 pictures in color, is something like a Mesoamerican Iliad and Odyssey," Dr. David Carrasco told Efe in a telephone interview.

"The map tells sacred stories and speaks of pilgrimages, wars, medicine, plants, marriages, rituals and heroes of the Cuauhtinchan community, which means Place of the Eagle's Nest (in the present-day Mexican state of Puebla)," he said.

The map, known as MC2, was painted on amate paper made from tree bark probably around 1540, just two decades after the Spanish conquest of Mexico.

Through images and pictographs, the map recounts the ancestral history of the Mesoamerican people of Chicomoztoc, meaning Place of the Seven Caves, followed by their migration to the sacred city of Cholula and the foundation of Cuauhtinchan, probably in 1174...



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