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Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler - British Museum

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler will be on display at the British Museum from Thursday, September 24, 2009 to Sunday, January 24, 2010.

This major exhibition explores Aztec civilisation through the divine, military and political role of the last elected ruler, Moctezuma II, who reigned from 1502 to 1520.

From his capital in Tenochtitlan (the site of modern Mexico City), Moctezuma’s empire comprised much of modern highland Mexico, stretching from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Ocean.

His power was reflected in the splendour of his capital’s architecture, his command of the prestigious Jaguar and Eagle military orders, and his sacrificial rituals to the gods. Moctezuma’s world was unrivalled until the devastating arrival of strangers – Cortés and his Spanish fleet.

The legacy of this tumultuous event and the semi-mythical status of Moctezuma will be reassessed through the display of imposing stone sculptures and rare gold and turquoise objects, many of which will be seen for the first time in the UK.

Rediscover the world of the Aztecs and trace the foundation of modern Mexico in Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler, which completes the British Museum’s series of exhibitions exploring power and empire.

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Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler Gallery

British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG