Thursday, 21 September 2023
WorldThey find sculpture of Chac Mool inside a construction site in Pátzcuaro

They find sculpture of Chac Mool inside a construction site in Pátzcuaro

COLIMA, Col. (apro).- By chance, personnel from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) located a pre-Hispanic sculpture with the representation of a Chac Mool, within a construction site in the municipality of Pátzcuaro.

After the discovery, made on August 30, the Ministry of Culture of the federal government, through the INAH Michoacán Center, undertook an archaeological rescue project, with the purpose of expanding explorations in the immediate areas of the stone image.

The relevance of the piece carved in basalt, whose dimensions are 90 centimeters long and 80 high, with a weight of around 200 kilograms, lies in the fact that it is the first of its kind found in the Pátzcuaro area, agreement with the archaeologist José Luis Punzo Díaz, attached to the INAH-Michoacán Center.

According to the specialist’s statements, released through a statement from the INAH, at the end of the 19th century the Norwegian ethnologist Carl Lumholtz acquired a Chac Mool in Pátzcuaro, whose extraction place was Ihuatzio and, currently, it is exhibited in the Museum American Museum of Natural History in New York City, United States.

“These images that we know by the Mayan name of Chac Mool were ritual tables in pre-Hispanic times. It has been speculated that they were used in sacrificial and offering ceremonies.”

However, the researcher emphasizes that the discovery is notable precisely because it is not common to find pre-Columbian artistic creations of such dimensions in western Mexico.

These pieces represent male characters lying on their backs, generally with their heads raised to the side.

These are sculptures present in different parts of the Mesoamerican area, dated to the Postclassic period (900-1521 AD) such as those identified in Tula, Hidalgo; in Chichén Itzá, Yucatán; and in the Templo Mayor, in Mexico City.

Having not located, up to now, archaeological materials associated with the recently located effigy, specialists theorize that it was removed from a nearby original location and found in the construction fill of the town of Pátzcuaro.

At the Michoacan level, in addition to the recently discovered one – whose temporality has been associated with the Late Postclassic period (1350-1521 AD) – and the aforementioned specimen reported by Lumholtz, there are three other pieces known as the Chac Mool of Ihuatzio, two excavated in 1908 and currently on display at the INAH: one in the National Museum of Anthropology (MNA) and another in the Museo Regional Michoacano, where a third is exhibited, located by Alfonso Caso and Jorge Acosta, in 1938. There is one more in the collections of the MNA, whose ID reports that he comes from Pátzcuaro, but whose context is unknown.

The INAH reported that the Chac Mool located in recent days has already been extracted and remains under the protection of the institute, whose specialists have initiated additional analyzes to fully assess its state of conservation.

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