These Are the Best iPhone Photos of the Year


Post 5529         https://www.yahoo.com/tech/these-are-the-best-iphone-photos-of-the-year-88476977104.html

These Are the Best iPhone Photos of the Year

That picture of your dog that you snapped with your iPhone is pretty cute. But it probably doesn’t compare to these photos, all of which won prizes in the 2014 iPhone Photography Awards.

The prizes recognize the “best shots among thousands of images submitted by iPhone photographers,” and photographs are judged based on “artistic merit, originality, subject, and style.” This is the seventh year for the prizes: The first iPhone came out in 2007, and the first iPhone Photography Awards were doled out in 2008.

The competition is not affiliated with Apple. Some winners do receive an iPad mini, however.

As the quality of the iPhone’s camera has improved, so too have the photos. The judges award prizes in 17 categories; we’ve included the first-place winners in each category below, as well as the three photos of the year. You can view runners-up and honorable mentions on the iPhone Photography Award website.

Best Animal Photograph

These Are the Best iPhone Photos of the Year

Photographer: Michael O’Neal. More at IPP Awards.

Best Photograph of Architecture

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Photographer: Yilang Peng. More at IPP Awards.

Best Photo of Children

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Photographer: Danny Van Vuuren. More at IPP Awards.

Best Flower Photograph

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Photographer: Jenny Anderson. More at IPP Awards.

Best Food Photography

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Photographer: Alexa Seidl. More at IPP Awards.

Best Landscape Photography

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Photographer: Elena Grimailo. More at IPP Awards.

Best Lifestyle Photography

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Photographer: Brandon Kidwell. More at IPP Awards.

Best Nature Photography

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Photographer: Felicia Pandola. More at IPP Awards.

Best News Photography

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Photographer: Gerard Collett. More at IPP Awards.

Best ‘Other’ Photography

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Photographer: Terry Vital. More at IPP Awards.

Best Panorama

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Photographer: Kyle G. Horst. More at IPP Awards.

Best Shot of Multiple People

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Photographer: Lauren Smith. More at IPP Awards.

Best Seasons Photography

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Photographer: Coco Liu. More at IPP Awards.

Best Still Life

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Photographer: Sofija Strindlund. More at IPP Awards.

Best Sunset

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Photographer: Little Su. More at IPP Awards.

Best Travel Photograph

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Photographer: Adrienne Pitts. More at IPP Awards.

Best Photograph of Trees

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Photographer: Aaron Pike. More at IPP Awards.

And now … the three best iPhone photographs of the year, per the IPP Awards

In 3rd place:

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Photographer: Jill Misner. More at IPP Awards.

In 2nd Place:

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Photographer: Jose Luis Barcia Fernandez. More at IPP Awards.

And the best iPhone photograph of the year …

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Photographer: Julio Lucas. More at IPP Awards.

Photos must be taken with an iOS device, and photography attachments are allowed; editing on iOS apps is acceptable, but not on professional software like Photoshop. If you think you can beat the competition,bookmark this page, and head back early next year for your chance at an iPad mini and eternal iPhonography fame.

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Dr. Oz scolded at hearing on weight loss scams


Post 5528

Dr. Oz scolded at hearing on weight loss scams

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under pressure from Congress, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz on Tuesday offered to help “drain the swamp” of unscrupulous marketers using his name to peddle so-called miracle pills and cure-alls to millions of Americans desperate to lose weight.

Oz appeared before the Senate’s consumer protection panel and was scolded by Chairman Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., for claims he made about weight-loss aids on his TV show, “The Dr. Oz Show.”

Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon, acknowledged that his language about green coffee and other supplements has been “flowery” and promised to publish a list of specific products he thinks can help America shed pounds and get healthy — beyond eating less and moving more. On his show, he never endorsed specific companies or brands but more generally praised some health supplements as fat busters.

McCaskill took Oz to task for a 2012 show in which he proclaimed that green coffee bean extract was a “magic weight loss cure for every body type.”

“I get that you do a lot of good on your show,” McCaskill told Oz, but “I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true.”

Oz insisted he believes in the supplements he talks about on his show as short-term crutches and even has his family try them. He said his job on the show is to be a “cheerleader” for his audience, one who offers hope even if that means looking to alternative healing traditions and any evidence that might support them.

But Oz did agree that there’s no long-term miracle pill out there without diet and exercise.

Within weeks of Oz’s comments about green coffee — which refers to the unroasted seeds or beans of coffee — a Florida-based operation began marketing a dietary supplement called Pure Green Coffee, with claims that the chlorogenic acid found in the beans could help people lose 17 pounds and cut body fat by 16 percent in 22 weeks.

The company, according to federal regulators, featured footage from “The Dr. Oz Show” to sell its supplement. Oz has no association with the company and received no money from sales.

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission sued the sellers behind Pure Green Coffee and accused them of making bogus claims and deceiving consumers.

The weight-loss industry is an area where consumers are particularly vulnerable to fraud, Mary Koelbel Engle, an associate director at the FTC, testified at the Senate hearing. She said the agency conducted a consumer survey in 2011 and found that more consumers were victims of fraudulent weight-loss products than of any of the other specific frauds covered in the survey.

Oz stressed during the hearing that he has never endorsed specific health supplements or received money from the sale of supplements. Nor has he allowed his image to be used in ads for supplements, he said.

“If you see my name, face or show in any type of ad, email or other circumstance,” Oz testified, “it’s illegal” — and not anything he has endorsed. He hasn’t allowed his name to be associated with specific brands, he said, because of ethical concerns he has about doctors making endorsements of health products.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., asked Oz if he would be willing to create a master list of brands he feels work, instead of suggesting that a general supplement may work for weight loss and then leaving consumers to poke around on the Internet in hopes of finding something.

“I’ve been actively looking at that,” said Oz. “With your suggestion and support, I think I’m going to do it and I think it’ll do a lot to drain the swamp that we’ve created around this area.”

Under Mexico City


Post 552 7               http://archaeology.org/issues/138-1407/features/2173-mexico-city-aztec-buried-world?utm_source=MailerMailer&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Under+Mexico+City&utm_campaign=Archaeology+e-Update

Under Mexico City                                                                                                                                

Beneath the capital’s busy streets, archaeologists are discovering the buried world of the Aztecs

Monday, June 09, 2014                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mexico-City-1524-Map                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

(HIP / Art Resource, NY)

524 map of Mexico City

In 1519, the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés and 400 of his men marched into the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan and knew at once they were in a strange and wondrous place. Even before their arrival, the emperor Moctezuma II had sent the Spaniards lavish jewels and fine clothes. He may have believed the Spaniards to be the deity Quetzalcoatl, the “plumed serpent,” returning to Tenochtitlan from the east, or he may have thought he was receiving emissaries from a friendly state. According to their own accounts, as the Spaniards began to explore the city, they found temples soaked with blood and human hearts being burned in ceramic braziers. So thick was the stench of human flesh, wrote chronicler Bernal Díaz del Castillo, that the scene brought to mind a Castilian slaughterhouse.                                    Under Mexico City

Yet what made an even greater impression was Tenochtitlan’s bustle and press. Streets were so crowded that the Spaniards could barely fit through them. And the hubbub of the main plaza, full of shouting salesman offering everything from beans to furniture to live deer, could be heard miles away. “Among us there were soldiers who had been in many parts of the world, in Constantinople and all of Italy and Rome,” wrote Díaz. “Never had they seen a square that compared so well, so orderly and wide, and so full of people, as that one.”

Five hundred years later, Mexico City’s main plaza still teems with shoppers and street hawkers, while, only a block away, archaeologists are carefully digging up the remains of the city Cortés and his men wondered at. Today archaeology is happening everywhere in Mexico City—just off the main square, in alleys, patios, and back lots. One dig is being conducted in the basement of a tattoo parlor. Others are going on beneath the rubble of buildings destroyed in the city’s 1985 earthquake. There’s a site located in a subway station, and two others are under the floor of the Metropolitan Cathedral. When city workers repave a street, archaeologists stand by to retrieve ceramic sherds, bones, and other artifacts that appear from under the asphalt. Excavation sites are often so close to modern infrastructure that archaeologists have to take care not to undermine modern building foundations. Researchers regularly contend with a bewildering network of sewers, pipes, and subway lines. And because the Aztec capital was built on a filled-in lake bed, they often have to pump water out when these areas flood.

Mexico-City-Templo-Mayor-1978-Excavation

(Getty Images)

Templo Mayor, 1978

In 1978, workers laying electrical cables accidentally discovered the Aztecs’ Templo Mayor, or High Temple, two blocks from the city’s central square, Zócalo. In 2011, a major ceremonial cache was discovered under the Plaza Manuel Gamio. Since these serendipitous finds, ongoing excavation and research by the National Institute of Anthropology and History’s Urban Archaeology Program (PAU) have changed our understanding of Aztec society. Excavations at five sites in particular, all within short a short walk of each other, have begun to crystallize our understanding of daily life, worship, and governance during the height of Aztec rule.

Scholars now understand that the human sacrifices that once shocked the Spaniards were not conceived as public horror or punishment, but rather as reenactments of Aztec society’s own creation. Archaeologists have excavated stone carvings with depictions of violent myths, some featuring people being dismembered or thrown from great heights. And human remains subsequently uncovered show similar wounds, suggesting that the myths were played out atop the temples with actual people. According to Raúl Barrera, PAU director, “The Aztecs materialized their beliefs about creation, performing them at the Templo Mayor.” In ways barely intuited by the Spaniards or even by modern historians until recently, the Aztecs, also known as the Mexica, believed that the fate of the world rested on what happened on the towering heights of their temples. “The Templo Mayor was their holiest place, but, more than that, it was the center of the Mexica universe. It was from there that they made contact with the divine world and with the underworld,” says Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, archaeologist and professor emeritus at the Templo Mayor Museum.

 

Mexico-City-Templo-Mayor-Skull-Wall

(Roger Atwood)

Skull Wall, Templo Mayor

Throughout downtown Mexico City, archaeologists have found some 40,000 artifacts, including mirrors made of shiny obsidian, Pacific turtle shells that were much-prized by the Aztecs, and precious jade-and-turquoise masks, all of which attest to the empire’s wealth. Other objects—mollusk shells from the Pacific, Caribbean shark teeth, jade from southern Mexico—have given researchers a richer understanding of the prosperity of trade ties forged by the Aztecs under the emperor Moctezuma’s fierce predecessor, Ahuítzotl, who ruled from 1486 to 1502. He added lands as far away as Chiapas to the city’s sphere of influence, conquered rich cacao-producing areas, and opened up trade ties with both coasts. Tribute poured in from vassal states.

 

Mexico-City-Aztec-Codex

(Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Florence/The Bridgeman Art Library)

Aztec Codex, 1519

Although much has been learned about the Aztecs, the question of how this formidable empire fell to the Spaniards in only a few weeks of fighting continues to vex historians, and excavations in their capital have added little information to the debate. Despite new research highlighting the possible role of disease brought by Europeans, Mexican archaeologists believe the key factor was the resentment the Aztecs’ neighbors felt toward them. “The Spaniards were joined by thousands of indigenous people who were enemies of the Aztecs. Why? Because they were sick of paying tribute. They saw Cortés as their salvation,” says Matos Moctezuma. But before the Aztecs’ collapse, Moctezuma and Cortés shared a brief moment of friendship. Díaz wrote: “Moctezuma took [Cortés] by the hand and told him to gaze over his great city and the many others all around the lake.” He then invited Cortés to climb the Templo Mayor to get a better view. Within two years of that moment, Moctezuma’s great city was gone. Only now are archaeologists learning how much of it actually survived and is sitting beneath the paving stones and buildings that make up Mexico City today.

Templo Mayor                                                                                                                                 Mexico-City-Templo-Mayor-Today

(Roger Atwood)

When the Spaniards arrived in Tenochtitlan in 1519, the Aztec capital’s main shrine stood 150 feet high. Little still stands of that building today because the Spaniards demolished it and used its blocks to build their own cathedral, known as the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, within sight of the remains of the once soaring temple. Possibly unknown to the Spaniards, however, at least six earlier versions of the Templo Mayor still lay underneath the structure they destroyed, the result of each successive ruler building his own temple on top of the previous one.

Since the early 1980s, archaeologists have been delving into those earlier layers, gaining a look at how the Aztecs worshipped decades before the conquest. Because these remains had been buried since the 1400s, they are giving researchers an unprecedented look at classical Aztec society. One of the first artifacts they excavated was a monumental stone disk dating from an early phase of the temple’s construction, around 1400, depicting the moon goddess Coyolxauhqui, a figure from the Aztec creation myth. In the legend, the goddess was decapitated and dismembered at the hands of her brother Huitzilopochtli as punishment for disrespecting their pregnant mother. Archaeologists have concluded from the chopped-off human limbs and heads excavated near the temple’s base that the grisly scene was reenacted regularly at Huitzilopochtli’s altar on the summit. Rows of skulls made of stone and stucco, still visible today, had their counterparts in actual skulls excavated nearby.

 

Mexico-City-Moon-Goddess-Disc

(Getty Images)

Disk depicting the moon goddess

The carnal nature of Aztec worship has long intrigued researchers, in part because its focus on blood-drenched sacrifice in the public square had few parallels in other Mesoamerican societies. Scholars suggest that the elites may have felt insecure in their power, and responded with these grandiose, intimidating rituals. “You get a sense of who ran society and how they made themselves loom large over it, monumentalizing themselves, and how they expressed power with these acts,” says Harvard University historian David Carrasco. Sacrifice was also closely linked to warfare—the victims were mostly battlefield captives—and thus to economic domination over neighboring states, explains archaeologist Eduardo Matos Moctezuma.

The greatest Aztec conqueror of them all, Ahuítzotl, was cremated upon his death in 1502 and his ashes placed in an urn at the base of the temple, according to sixteenth-century accounts. Archaeologists thought they might be close to finding his remains in 2006 when they excavated a stone inscribed with the year 10 Rabbit in the Aztec system (which corresponds to A.D. 1502) along with artifacts suggesting an elite burial. They now think that the urn with Ahuítzotl’s ashes had actually been dug up in 1900 by Mexican archaeologist Leopoldo Batres, who did not know he’d struck the Templo Mayor. At that time, the neighborhood around the buried ruins had few houses and a reputation for bad omens and ill spirits, likely a remnant of the site’s bloody history, says archaeologist Raúl Barrera.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Plaza Manuel Gamio                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mexico-City-Temple-Cremation-Platform

(Courtesy Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Programa de Arqueología Urbana)

Cremation platform

Despite their reputation for violence, the Aztecs had a finely honed taste for the delicate, the exquisite, and the fragrant. They adored flowers, perfumes, brightly painted walls, and epic poetry. In 2009, archaeologists began uncovering artifacts and human remains beneath a quiet square adjoining the Templo Mayor site, known as Plaza Manuel Gamio. These excavations have already yielded a great deal of information about Aztec life, death, and worship. Included within the burials, beneath a volcanic stone used for human sacrifices similar to those described by the Spaniards, were five human skulls with holes bored into their temples. In the time of the emperor Moctezuma I, who reigned from 1440 to 1469, the skulls had been placed side by side on a stake and displayed publicly in a structure known as a tzompantli, or “skull banner.” Botanical remains demonstrated that the skulls had once been adorned with delicate cornflowers, cotton blossoms, and cactus thorns. Laboratory tests concluded that the five skulls belonged to three women and two men, all young adults whose skulls were perforated postmortem. Analysis of the isotopic content of their teeth indicates that three of them had spent their childhoods far from the Aztec capital, probably in southern Mexico, suggesting they were migrants to the city or prisoners of war.

 

Mexico-City-Copal-Resin

(Roger Atwood)

Copal figurine

Nearby, researchers found a statuette of a seated woman made entirely of copal, an intensely aromatic tree resin that, more than 500 years later in the PAU laboratory, still emits the sweet, eucalyptus-like aroma that perfumed the dead. And a few feet away, in a contemporaneous deposit, archaeologists found 47 sahumadores, or clay incense pots, all meticulously arranged in rows and showing signs of intensive use. The long, protruding handles of some pots contained tiny pellets that, when the pots were moved, made a sound like a rattlesnake. Aztec priests are believed to have packed these incense pots with coal, copal, and other aromatic substances for use in ceremonies that filled the senses and masked the odor of death. “They used incense to sweeten the air, but also to purify the space and please the gods,” says Lorena Vázquez, a PAU archaeologist. According to Vázquez, the pots also held some kind of protein, possibly human blood.

A more grisly find awaited archaeologists a few feet away—the skulls, jawbones, and vertebrae of about 500 people, including at least 10 children, in two tightly packed deposits. Before they were buried under an altar, the bones had been painstakingly prepared. They were stripped of their flesh and, judging from weathering stains, dried outdoors before burial, says María García Velasco, a PAU conservator. “These people weren’t thrown there like garbage,” she explains. “They were treated carefully, as befitting a ceremonial burial.” Surprisingly, Velasco adds, none of the skeletons analyzed thus far shows any sign of major trauma. PAU director Raúl Barrera believes that all the remains were buried at roughly the same time, and that they were all related to a single ceremonial event. Since both the human remains and the sahumadores were found under a stone-and-stucco floor, the event may have been a “closure” ceremony in which a part of the temple was built over and buried.

 

Mexico-City-Incense-Pot-Skull

(Courtesy Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Programa de Arqueología Urbana)

Incense pot (left), perforated skull

Looming over the deposit was a 40-foot-wide circular platform carved with stone serpent heads, their mouths agape. Historical sources speak of the platform, or cuauhxicalco, as the place where the remains of the Aztec rulers were publicly cremated. Their ashes were then placed in ceramic urns and buried. A few feet away from the cuauhxicalco, Barrera found the withered trunk of an oak tree that grew in a kind of large flowerpot. Spanish accounts mention ceremonial trees planted near the Templo Mayor festooned with strips of colorful paper, and, according to Barrera, this was surely an example. Taken together, the bones, the tree trunk, the serpents’ heads, and the thousands of smaller artifacts that have been found are creating a rich picture of ceremonial life in the Aztec heyday.

School of the Ancient Elite

In 1985, an earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale killed some 10,000 people and destroyed or compromised thousands of buildings in Mexico City. Some of those buildings happened to have been standing over Aztec civic and holy sites. More than two decades later, after workers demolished a building rendered structurally unsound by the quake, archaeologists dug down and found the ruins of an elite school near the Templo Mayor. Known as the Calmécac, which in the Nahuatl language spoken by the Aztecs means “school,” the complex was where Aztec nobility sent their children to be trained in war and worship. “The school’s proximity to the Templo Mayor shows the elite’s concern for educating young men for power,” says Harvard historian David Carrasco. The emperor Moctezuma II himself was a graduate.

 

Mexico-City-Calmecac-School

(Courtesy Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Programa de Arqueología Urbana)

Spiral roof decoration

An enormous structure in antiquity, even larger than the Templo Mayor, the school had a courtyard whose roof was adorned with a row of spiral ornaments representing snails, which were associated with the rain god Tlaloc. Spanish colonial-era drawings had suggested these adornments were small, even dainty, decorative touches. But when archaeologists discovered them, the ornaments actually stood a monumental eight feet tall and must have been visible from all over Tenochtitlan. Of the seven found by archaeologist Raúl Barrera, all had been removed in antiquity from their rooftop perches and laid below a floor. By the time the Spaniards arrived, they had been replaced with similar ornaments that the Spaniards later destroyed, of which no traces have been found. Since their rediscovery, the Calmécac roof ornaments have become one of the most distinctive motifs of ancient Mexico. Excavation at the Calmécac proved difficult. Eighteen feet beneath the city, the site continually flooded and had to have water pumped out, a problem that speaks to the city’s unusual geography. Tenochtitlan was built on a group of marshy islands in the center of Lake Tezcoco. These were gradually filled in with lines of tree trunks and soil using an ancient land-reclamation technique similar to that employed in Tenochtitlan’s contemporary city, Venice. As in Venice, canals crisscrossed the city. Archaeologists have found traces of some of them, as well as a pier that jutted into the lake in antiquity. Lake Tezcoco has been almost completely filled in over the centuries, but the soil underneath the city remains porous and damp, “like gelatin,” says archaeologist Eduardo Matos Moctezuma. Although the city has been gradually settling at a rate of up to 20 feet per century into the lake bed, not so the Templo Mayor, which was built on sturdy landfill. It is therefore sinking at a much slower pace, causing it to gradually “rise” relative to its surroundings such that it will, eventually, regain the 150-foot height it had in antiquity.

Once the remains of the Calmécac were stabilized, archaeologists discovered walls and wide staircases, some with ancient footprints still in their stucco surfaces. They also uncovered dozens of artifacts that hint at student life in A.D. 1500, including well-worn ceramic plates, a clay spoon, and flint and obsidian knives that probably had both practical and ceremonial uses. PAU director Raúl Barrera has excavated only a small corner of the ancient school because most of it remains beneath busy Donceles Street and its taco stands and cantinas. Digging any further would endanger those buildings’ foundations, he explains, “and then, instead of us excavating, someone would have to come excavate us.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Temple of Quetzalcoatl                                                                                                                                                                                     Mexico-City-Temple-Quetzalcoatl-Excavation                                                                                                                                                                    

(Courtesy Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Programa de Arqueología Urbana)

Temple of Ehécatl-Quetzalcoatl

Archaeological sites in Mexico City have street addresses, not GPS coordinates, as sites tend to elsewhere. At this particular address, behind the green door, next to the Calmécac, archaeologists uncovered the Temple of Ehécatl-Quetzalcoatl, a structure dating from about 1450. The temple, whose distinctive, round shape was described by Spanish priest Bernardino de Sahagún, was located about 80 feet north of where Spanish colonial maps had originally shown it to be. Ehécatl was a wind god sometimes depicted as a version of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent who had already been worshipped in central Mexico for more than 1,000 years by the time Tenochtitlan was founded in 1325. In fact, snake imagery abounded at the temple in antiquity. Spanish chroniclers described the building as having a conical roof made of straw, resembling a coiled snake. To enter, worshippers passed through a stone arch carved to resemble a snake’s mouth, complete with fangs. The Spaniards associated serpents with the Garden of Eden story, regarding the reptiles as evil, and usually destroyed snake images wherever they saw them. But, if the temple’s snake arch wasn’t destroyed by the Spaniards, it may still lie buried beneath a row of buildings behind the Metropolitan Cathedral, awaiting discovery.

 

Mexico-City-TEmple-Shecatl-Quetzalcoatl

(Roger Atwood)

16 Guatemala Street

Excavation has shown that the Guatemala Street temple was bordered by a long outer wall, which the modern street directly above it follows exactly. This is no coincidence, but rather evidence that the Spaniards stuck closely to the original Aztec urban grid when they built their own city on the ruins of Tenochtitlan. Modern avenues also run along the same lines as causeways that once connected the ancient island city to the mainland.

Last City of the Aztecs                                                                                                                        Mexico-City-Tlatelolco-Aztec-Foundations

(Roger Atwood)

Aztec foundations and colonial church

A half-hour walk north of the Templo Mayor, Tlatelolco was a rival Aztec city until it was absorbed into Tenochtitlan in 1473. Recent excavations have shown that Tlatelolco’s ceremonial complex was once almost as large and impressive as that of the main Aztec capital, although at the time of the Spanish conquest, the city was known mostly for its thriving market. Tlatelolco was the final redoubt of the Aztec emperor Cuauhtémoc before he was captured by Cortés in August 1521. Cortés later released Cuauhtémoc and allowed him to continue to rule but, fearing a conspiracy, had him executed in 1525. He was the last Aztec ruler.

 

Just over a decade ago, archaeologists made an intriguing discovery at Tlatelolco. Beneath a colonial church erected over Aztec foundations, they found a seven-foot-deep, 26-foot-wide basin that had been built on Cuauhtémoc’s orders. Known as a caja de agua, or “water box,” the basin was fed with water from Chapultepec Hill, some four miles away. A system of aqueducts ensured the city’s supply of potable water, as lake water was not suitable for drinking. This cistern was, perhaps, the last example of Aztec civic construction.

 

Mexico-City-Jaguar-Fresco

(Courtesy Salvador Guilliem Arroyo, Director Proyecto Tlatelolco)

Jaguar fresco

On the basin’s walls, archaeologists discovered murals, once brightly colored but now faded with age. Painted just as the Spaniards were consolidating their power, the frescoes are a unique hybrid of Aztec and Spanish themes. They show scenes of canoes on a lake, people fishing, ducks, reeds, water lilies, frogs, herons, and jaguars. In one scene, a fisherman casts a net while, at his feet, a coiled snake tries to eat a frog. Snakes and frogs had deep symbolic associations for the Aztecs, and were depicted in the basin in a naturalistic, European manner. “These murals were painted at the moment of the conquest. In a way, they show the encounter of the European and Mexican cultures,” says archaeologist Salvador Guilliem. Tlatelolco, where the Aztec world made its last stand, was thus also the scene of one of the initial artistic expressions of modern Mexico.