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This small-scale model pyramid temple is so finely detailed as to include the complete iconographic program that identifies it as a temple dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, to wit: the beaded panels (which would have been painted red) with protruding human skulls, and the sectioned-shell merlons that line the upper edge of the temple's roof. Temples to Huitzilopochtli usually were part of a two-temple complex, the northern half of which would have been dedicated to Tlaloc, the rain deity, and identified by a series of broad parallel black and white lines.

Model of a pyramid temple
Mexica (Aztec)
Late Post-Classic period (1319-1521 A.D.)
Valley of Mexico
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico.

Photo © Jorge Pérez de Lara