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The Production of New Political Speech: Unpacking the Stone Sculptures Archive from Tenochtitlan

Ángel Gonzalez Lopez, University of California, Riverside, Junior Fellow 2018–2019

My time at Dumbarton Oaks enabled me to complete my dissertation. I documented and analyzed over 2,000 Aztec monuments from city-states in the Basin of Mexico, focusing on the imperial capital of Tenochtitlan. My work was composed of two steps: collecting data from 80 educational institutions all over the globe, the second at Dumbarton Oaks. I looked at how the expansion of the Aztec Mexica Empire caused changes to the visual representation of religious imagery associated with a new political power by collecting, documenting, analyzing, and interpreting the symbolic narratives. My research has been significantly enhanced by the sources in the library, where I examined and synthesized data from Pre-Columbian and colonial historical texts. The historical examination is crucial for understanding why Tenochca sculptures were generated, as a means to discovering the logic in their history as relates to productive activity, social organization, circulation, and consumption.