Giant Aztec earth goddess to show in Mexico City

May 19, 2010
Photo issued by the Mexican National Instute of Anthropology shows a monolith of the Aztec goddess "Tlaltecuhtli" in Mexico City on May 17. The largest stone scuplture of its kind will go on show for the first time next month in the Mexican capital, the National Institute of Anthropology and History has said.

The largest known monolith of Aztec earth goddess Tlaltecuhtli will go on show for the first time next month in Mexico City, the National Institute of Anthropology and History has said.

The giant stone was found during renovations almost four years ago on a house near the Templo Mayor, the most famous Aztec temple in the heart of the Mexican capital, an INAH statement said.

Weighing 12 metric tonnes and measuring 4.19 meters (13.7 feet) by 3.62 meters (11.8 feet), the monolith is "the only Mexican sculptural piece that conserves its original colors," the statement said.

Tlaltecuhtli is represented as an ocher-colored female figure with curly hair, a stream of blood spouting from her mouth and her arms reaching upward, it said.

Modern cranes and some 20 specialists spent more than 30 hours moving the monolith to the nearby Templo Mayor museum.

The piece is due to star in an on Aztec emperor Moctezuma II, opening mid-June.

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