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Aztec emperor funeral, 16th century. Illustration of the cremation of Aztec emperor Auitzotl (reigned 1486-1502), his shrouded body on a basketwork throne. At right are sacrificed slaves, a quetzal-plumed epaulette and a jade collar. At upper centre, a crown is next to the emperor's personal glyph: the legendary auitzotl lake creature. 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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