They discover a house where Moctezuma hosted Spanish conquerors in 1519

They discover a house where Moctezuma hosted Spanish conquerors in 1519

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Remains of the floors of basalt slabs that belonged to an open space of the Old Houses of Axayácatl, whereHernán Cortés and the conquerors were hosted by Moctezuma II upon their arrival in Tenochtitlan and where did they flee on the call Sad night, were located by Mexican archaeologists.

The find made in what is now the National Monte de Piedad building, in the heart of the Historic Center, was located by the Urban Archeology Program (PAU) and included the discovery of vestiges of a dwelling that Cortés ordered to be built and that was seat of the first Cabildo of New Spain and of the Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca.

The exact location of the remains It was carried out taking advantage of the rehabilitation works of the Monte de Piedad headquarters; Between September 2017 and August 2018, INAH experts carried out an archaeological salvage in the main courtyard and an adjacent room of the building, where they located the remains.

The archaeologist responsible for the PAU, Raúl Barrera, and his collaborator José María García, reported that they excavated 12 boreholes - 2 meters per side and 1.50 m deep - around the main patio of Monte de Piedad, where works were carried out to reinforce the columns that support the first level of the building.

Through the wells remains of a stone wall were located and mortar that served as the foundation and stubbornness for a series of columns of the building built around 1755, which allows us to deduce that the central patio was originally larger.

The flat where Cortés stayed

The main surprise awaited deeper: under the firm of the courtly house, more than 3 meters deep, theremains of another floor of basalt slabs, but from pre-Hispanic times.

Given its characteristics, experts argue that it was part of an open space of the oldAxayácatl Palaceprobably a patio. Those floors were the same ones that the Spanish invaders and their allies wandered upon their arrival in Tenochtitlan, November 8, 1519.

Moctezuma II allowed them to stay in the old houses that had belonged to their father and, shortly after, they made them their headquarters. While in that palace, the Spaniards adapted a room to give mass and, right there, they held several rulers captive, starting with whoever their host was: Moctezuma Xocoyotzin; Cuitláhuac, lord of Iztapalapa; Cacamatzin, tlatoani from Texcoco, and Itzcuauhtzin, lord of Tlatelolco, among others.

After on May 22, 1520, by order of Pedro de Alvarado, the Tóxcatl festival massacreIn the Templo Mayor, the Spanish withdrew and returned to the Axayácatl Palace.

That fact unleashed the anger of the Mexica and, towards the end of June of that year, they besieged the invaders in that building. Hernán Cortés wanted to contain the fury through Moctezuma, who from the roof tried to appease them, but the efforts were in vain, as his brother Cuitláhuac was the new ruler.

On the night of June 30, 1520, the Spanish fled to Tlaxcala along the road to Tlacopan (today Tacuba), leaving behind the Old Houses of Axayácatl.

The new city after the fall of Tenochtitlan

Behind the Fall of Tenochtitlan in 1521, the surviving Mexica were forced to destroy, with their own hands, their temples and palaces and, with the same materials, to build the new city.

The Old Houses of Axayácatl would give rise to theHouses of Hernán de Cortés, which were also the temporary headquarters of the first Cabildo of New Spain, around 1525, and of the Marquesado del Valle de Oaxaca, a noble title to take over a kind of government, granted for their services to the Spanish Crown, in 1529.

On the death of the conqueror in 1547, his descendants kept the property. Martín Cortés Zúñiga, his son, inherited the marquisate, but in 1566, when he was involved in a conspiracy that sought to seize the government of New Spain, he was expelled from the viceroyalty.

The houses and the extensive land were in the hands of a legal representative and, already in poor condition, were sold to the Sacro Monte de Piedad, in 1836.

Via: INAH.

Video: Cortés Meets Montezuma. Cortés letters. 8th November 1519