Oysters for the Earth Goddess


May/June 2015

Trenches Aztec Oyster Earth Goddess


Beneath a stone carving of the Aztec earth goddess Tlaltecuhtli inside Mexico City’s Templo Mayor, archaeologists have found an offering containing a variety of artifacts and animal bones, including seashells, from all over the Aztec Empire. A new analysis shows that several of the shells come from mollusks that live on Mexico’s Pacific coast, a possible indicator that the Aztecs expanded their empire to that area during the reign of Ahuitzotl, between 1486 and 1502.