Archaeologists identify evidence of cultural resistance to the Spanish conquest
Archaeologists have discovered new evidence of cultural resistance to the Spanish conquest of Mexico.
The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said its archaeologists discovered the remains of a residential complex and a stone workshop in Mexico City’s Morelos neighborhood, which borders Tlatelolco, a neighborhood where a pre-Hispanic people altepetl, or city-state, was once located.
The remains confirm that a few years after the conquest of Tlatelolco in the early 16th century, Mexicans returned to their former colonies to continue their ceremonies and religious rituals “as a kind of cultural resistance,” INAH said in a statement. .
He said the remains date back to the late post-classical period (1200-1521) and early colonial period (1521-1650) and had remained for centuries under the bustling streets of Morelos, located just north of the center landmark of Mexico City.
The architecture of the residential complex, which included space for ceremonies and rituals, allowed INAH archaeologists to conclude that it was occupied between 1525 and 1547.
“A small warehouse with globular pots and organic remains that belong to the colonial period has been found,” INAH said.
The institute also said that two anthropomorphic statues measuring 35cm and 40cm were also found at the site, located near the archaeological area of Tlatelolco. José Antonio López, archaeologist at INAH, said that it is not easy to interpret the meaning of the statues.
“When they were ‘alive’ in pre-Hispanic times, they may have been buried there with a dedication, but with the arrival of the Spaniards, and with the natives unable to recover their ancient deities, it is possible that their meaning has changed, as a form of religious and cultural resistance, ”he said.
In the stone workshop, archaeologists recovered a large amount of gray, gold and green obsidian, INAH said. Xantal Rosales García, another INAH archaeologist, said 15,000 finished objects and nearly two tons of obsidian were found.
Archaeologists have also discovered the graves of 36 adults and children who died in pre-Hispanic and colonial times. Josefina Bautista Martínez, an anthropologist, said a child was buried with a six-inch-long obsidian knife placed on his head. She also said that a fragment of flint was placed on her body and one of her teeth was replaced with a green stone.
Archaeologists have also discovered many ceramic pieces including more than 200 female figurines. According to López, all the materials recovered are indicative of a “hidden religious persistence of these indigenous groups during evangelization despite the proximity of the Franciscans”.
Mexico Daily News