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date: 20 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Aztec artisans produced a spectacular, sophisticated, and technically versatile metallurgy. Although they had integrated certain materials and techniques from contemporaneous and earlier Mesoamerican societies, Aztec artisans created astonishing and original gold and copper-gold castings for public display—particularly of flora and fauna from the natural and supernatural worlds. They placed these castings in their pleasure parks. They also cast hundreds of bells from tin and arsenic bronze and other copper-based alloys for dedicatory offerings at the Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan. The ore sources (copper, gold, tin, lead) lay outside of the Basin of Mexico but within Aztec tribute provinces; the metal itself was worked or cast in Tenochtitlan workshops.

Keywords: metallurgy, metal, Tenochtitlan, ore sources, castings, copper, gold, tin, lead

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