The first of Fideicomiso Historia de las Américas’ambitious Serie Ciudades, author and Mexican Archaeologist Eduardo Matos Moctezuma’s Tenochtitlan concentrates on the daunting myth and complex history of one of México’s most popular archeological sites. Drawing upon his years of experience, archaeological findings and 16th century records for his work, Moctezuma has illuminated pre-Hispanic life of urban antiquity.
The first of nine short chapters begin with a thorough background from inhabitants’ origins to details of the conquest. Unearthed in the heart of México, the City of México, Tenochtitlan was a center for commerce and culture and widely known for its Templo Mayor
, the principal place of religious activity. Moctezuma describes its chronology in well arranged, meticulously detailed phases. Focus is placed on the centrality of religious worship practice, description of the gods and the beliefs of the Aztecs that are understood to have brought down this great empire.
An index may have served as an additional benefit but not completely necessary for the information is well presented and organized. Moctezuma’s invaluable chronological record frames the content and guides the reader along with diagrams, photographs and codices. This site is special and extraordinary due to the destruction of many sites by the Spanish conquerors. Moctezuma’s work may be the next best thing to being there and can be enjoyed by traveler, student and even scholar/researcher seeking primary sources. This thin 21x14 cm paperback Spanish translation may be too large to fit in your pocket but make room for it on your shelf. Consider this review an enthusiastic recommendation for an academic or public library.
Tenochtitlan. Eduardo Matos Moctezuma. Mexico: FCE, El Colegio de Mexico, 2012. 191pp. $29.99. ISBN 10: 968-16-8118-5