THE TEMPLE OF QUETZALCOATL AT TEOTIHUACAN: Its Possible Ideological Significance

Alfredo López Austin, Leonardo López Luján, Saburo Sugiyama

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29 Scopus citations


In this article the significance of Teotihuacan's most sumptuous monument is studied: the Temple of Quetzalcoatl. Based on iconographie studies, together with the results of recent archaeological excavations, it is possible to deduce that the building was dedicated to the myth of the origin of time and calendric succession. The sculptures on its facades represent the Feathered Serpent at the moment of the creation. The Feathered Serpent bears the complex headdress of Cipactli, symbol of time, on his body. The archaeological materials discovered coincide with iconographie data and with this interpretation. Other monuments in Mesoamerica are also apparently consecrated in honor of this same myth and portray similar symbolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-105
Number of pages13
JournalAncient Mesoamerica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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