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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
La Mesilla in Tecozautla, Hidalgo, Mexico — The Central Highlands (North America)
 

Circular Altar or Wheel of Sacrifice (Temalácatl)

 
 
Circular Altar or Wheel of Sacrifice (Temalácatl) Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, June 9, 2018
1. Circular Altar or Wheel of Sacrifice (Temalácatl) Marker
Inscription.  
Altar circular o rueda del sacrificio (Temalácatl)
El mejor guerrero enemigo, un prisionero de alto rango o un tlatoani (gobernante, Onahñä en hanñhñu) de otro pueblo se colocaba encima de este altar para celebrar un combate ritual. Atado de una pierna y, llevando consigo armas falsas, se enfrentaba con un guerrero local, quien no sólo tenía libertad de movimiento, sino que utilizaba armas reales.

Una vez herido - como solía ocurrir - , era conducido al lugar del sacrificio, donde se le extraía el corazón.

Esta ceremonia era llamada tlacaxipehualiztli (Anttzayoh, en hñahñu), es decir, el Rayamiento. Se realizaba en marzo, durante el equinoccio de primavera, mes dedicado a Xipe Totec: Nuestro Señor el Desollado.

Pie de dibujo: Ritual gladiatorio (Manuscrito Tovar)

English:
Circular Altar or Wheel of Sacrifice (Temalácatl)
The best enemy warrior, a high-ranking prisoner or a Tlatoani (ruler, Onahñä, in Hañhñu) from another town would be placed on top of this altar to celebrate a combat ritual.

The prisoner, with his legs tied and carrying
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fake weapons, would confront a local warrior who not only was free to move but also used real weapons.

This ceremony was called Tlacaxipehualiztli (Anttzayoh, in Hñahñu), that is, Flaying. It was performed in March during the spring equinox, a month dedicated to Xipe Totec: Our Lord the Flayed One.

Caption (English translation): Gladiator ritual (from the Tovar Manuscript)
 
Erected by Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (CONACULTA) y el Instituto Nacional de Anthropología e Historia (INAH).
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & ArchaeologyMan-Made FeaturesNative AmericansWars, Non-US. A significant historical year for this entry is 1500.
 
Location. 20° 30.308′ N, 99° 41.083′ W. Marker is in La Mesilla, Hidalgo, in Tecozautla. Marker can be reached from Entrada del Sitio Arqueológico de Pahñu, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: La Mesilla HGO 42460, Mexico. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Sacred Triangle and the Temple of the Sun (within shouting distance of this marker); The Plaza and the Xiuhtecuhtli Temple (within shouting distance of this marker); The Calendar on the Landscape (within shouting distance of this marker); Message in the Soil: Geoglyph
Circular Altar or Wheel of Sacrifice (Temalácatl) Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, June 9, 2018
2. Circular Altar or Wheel of Sacrifice (Temalácatl) Marker
The marker is to the left in this view towards the north, with the Pyramid of the Sun seen in the background.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Tecpan: “The Government House” (within shouting distance of this marker); Tecpan: The Place of Duality (within shouting distance of this marker); The Path of the Sun (within shouting distance of this marker); Pyramid on Pyramid: the South Steps (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in La Mesilla.
 
Circular Altar or Wheel of Sacrifice (Temalácatl) Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, June 9, 2018
3. Circular Altar or Wheel of Sacrifice (Temalácatl) Marker
The Wheel of Sacrifice (or Temalácatl) can be seen to the right.
The manuscript detail from the Circular Altar or Wheel of Sacrifice (Temalácatl) Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, June 9, 2018
4. The manuscript detail from the Circular Altar or Wheel of Sacrifice (Temalácatl) Marker
This type of ritual was given a new twist in Gary Jennings' 1980 novel, Aztec, where Armed Scorpion was given the option of fighting on the "Battle Stone" instead of being sacrificed.
An image of Xipe Totec: Our Lord the Flayed One, mentioned in the marker text image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, November 6, 2019
5. An image of Xipe Totec: Our Lord the Flayed One, mentioned in the marker text
This image is from the Dr. David J. Guzmán Archaeological Museum in San Salvador, El Salvador.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 20, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 23, 2018, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana. This page has been viewed 178 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 23, 2018, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana.   5. submitted on November 20, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana.

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Jul. 15, 2024