THE TEMPLE OF QUETZALCOATL AT TEOTIHUACAN: Its Possible Ideological Significance

Alfredo López Austin, Leonardo López Luján, Saburo Sugiyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


In this article the significance of Teotihuacan's most sumptuous monument is studied: the Temple of Quetzalcoatl. Based on iconographie studies, together with the results of recent archaeological excavations, it is possible to deduce that the building was dedicated to the myth of the origin of time and calendric succession. The sculptures on its facades represent the Feathered Serpent at the moment of the creation. The Feathered Serpent bears the complex headdress of Cipactli, symbol of time, on his body. The archaeological materials discovered coincide with iconographie data and with this interpretation. Other monuments in Mesoamerica are also apparently consecrated in honor of this same myth and portray similar symbolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-105
Number of pages13
JournalAncient Mesoamerica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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