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Serpents of the Great Temple

These menacing sculptures once sat at the foot of the stairs of a vast pyramid dedicated to Huītzilōpōchtli (Hummingbird’s South), the bellicose Aztec god of war with an insatiable appetite for blood.

The Aztec civilization practiced human sacrifice on an epic scale. Enemies captured in war raids and skirmishes were brought on a daily basis to the temple, painted blue with a mineral pigment, and then led past the stone serpents to climb the steps.

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