Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl, 16th century

Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl, 16th century

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl, 16th century. Illustration of Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent), one of the main Aztec gods. Here, he has a conical hat, beak, feathered shield and cape, and a curved knife. Quetzalcoatl was a god of creation, linked to fertility and resurrection. The text at lower left names Cholula, the site of a large temple honouring him. The Aztec Empire (ruled by the Mexica) was an alliance of three city states that ruled in central Mexico from 1428 until their defeat by Spanish conquistadors in 1521. Artwork from a 19th-century copy of a 16th-century post-conquest codex and history of the Aztecs by Jesuit missionary Juan de Tovar.

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