Archaeologists recover Aztec Codices of San Andrés Tetepilco

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have announced the recovery of the Codices of San Andrés Tetepilco.

The three codices date from the late 16th to early 17th century and are believed to be a continuation of the Boturini Codex.

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The codices depicts a transition from pre-Hispanic Mexica to the arrival of the Spanish, the latter represented with the image of Hernán Cortés who appears dressed like a Roman centurion. Another scene corresponds to the reign of Izcóatl, the fourth king of Tenochtitlan, and the founder of the Aztec Empire.

Image Credit : INAH

According to a press statement, the collection was in private ownership and has been acquired for the National Library of Anthropology and History (BNAH).

Following confirmation of authenticity by experts, INAH, in collaboration with various companies and philanthropists raised 9.5 million pesos (237,115.00 Pound sterling) for the purchase.

A closer examination has revealed that the codices were made on amate, a type of bark paper, with an applied layer of gesso and cochineal extract. Inks used to paint the various scenes come from plants, charcoal, indigo, and different shades of ochre.

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Image Credit : INAH

Speaking to HeritageDaily, a representative of INAH said: “It wasn’t until two years ago that BNAH authorities were able to see them directly and manage a study to confirm their authenticity, which has involved the analysis of their composition by experts from the UNAM Physics Institute and the Coordination National Conservation of Cultural Heritage of the INAH.”

“Thanks to the transfer of ownership, the people of Mexico now hold the Codices of San Andrés Tetepilco which are part of the so-called mixed codices, as they contain paintings from indigenous tradition and texts in Nahuatl or Spanish, written with the European alphabet,” added INAH.

Header Image Credit : INAH

Sources : INAH

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Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.

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