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Late Post Classic Maize Goddess Sculpture Restored
Chicomecoatl monolith. Photo: INAH Center in Hidalgo.
MEXICO CITY. A Chicomecoatl monolith found recently in Zempoala municipality, Hidalgo, 500 years old, which represents the goddess of maize, was restored by National Institute of Anthropology and History specialists and now historical research has begun.

The archaeological finding associated to Mexica culture dated between 1430 and 1520 was found in July 2009 by employees of a private company, notifying immediately the Hidalgo INAH Center, which proceeded to remove and guard it.

The 60 centimeters tall sculpture represents the Mexica maize goddess, Chicomecoatl, linked to fertility. She carries 2 corncobs on each hand, and has an orifice in the chest, where a greenstone or “chalchiutlicue”, which represents the flower of life, was inlaid.

Archaeologist Osvaldo Sterpone, in charge of moving the piece to Pachuca and who will coordinate historical research, mentioned that the orifice was covered with red colored lime that matched the stone that has to be identified yet. He remarked the stone sculpture was found near Santa Ana Archaeological Site.

Sterpone commented that the sculpture may be dated in Late Post Classic period, when Mexica Empire controlled this region to obtain obsidian and other material that they traded.

Restoration of Chicomecoatl, which presents an excellent conservation state, was in charge of Virginia Carrasquel, from Hidalgo INAH Center, who leaded cleaning, stabilization and preservation tasks before being exposed at Zempolala Community Museum for 2 days.

After it returned to Hidalgo INAH Center, the piece was guarded at the cultural goods warehouse, where Chicomecoatl will be studied to determine the influence it had in the region.

Regarding the context of the finding, archaeologist Sterpone mentioned that no other element associated to the sculpture was found in the sand mine located at San Pedro Tlaquilpan.

“There are not regional archaeological studies about Chicomecoatl, so we will base on historical sources. In this sense, a similar sculpture was found during the 1970´s decade in Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo” concluded the archaeologist.


National Institute of Anthropology and History | Late Post Classic period | Zempolala | Hidalgo |


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