Sunday, July 17, 2011

The 1563 Calendrical Relief

In talking about the 1563 calendrical relief shown in my previous post, Angela suggested that it could be a foundation monument. In 1561 the town of San Francisco Calixtlahuaca was founded following Spanish law (a decree from the Viceroy). If there were Nahuatl speakers among the new residents who retained a notion of ancient altepetl ceremonies and procedures, perhaps they had the relief carved to give the new town a measure of traditional legitimacy.

I was in the village Saturday, delivering copies of our reports to various people, and I realized that I wasn't sure where my photos were of the cemetery church and the relief. So I went over and took some new photos. The light was very good on the relief. Why is it incorporated into the church wall? When was it put there? What does it tell us? Wish I knew.

I'm not sure what year this church dates to. Its probably discussed in one of the books on Franciscan church architecture in the State of Mexico, but my copies are back home in Arizona. Here are some images of the front of the church. If you can date the church stylistically, let us know! My guess is 17th or 18th century.

And finally, here is a view of the site from in front of the cemetery:

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