Secrets of the Aztec's glorious civilisation

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Leonardo López Luján’s new find lies only a few yards to the west, in what must have been one of the most important ritual arenas of the ancient capital.

The relief panel portraying the goddess Tlaltecuhtli dwarfs almost all other Aztec art that we know, and would be a fitting marker for a royal tomb. If one exists, what would it be like?

Two elaborately decorated burial urns — those of “outstanding military captains” and thus high in the Aztec hierarchy — were found in the temple precincts some years ago and contained obsidian and jade ornaments and spear points alongside the ashes of their owners. Some of the finest Aztec jewels so far found use stones and precious metal in dazzling combinations.

These give us some idea of what we might expect from a royal interment: but so far we do not have a single Aztec imperial burial.

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