Mexican Government Acquires Rare Aztec Manuscripts From a Local Family

Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology recently announced it came in possession of rare Aztec manuscripts from the 16th and 17th centuries. The manuscripts were acquired by the Mexican government from a local family.

Known as Codices of San Andrés Tetepilco, these documents are particularly important because they detail the development of Teotihuacan, an ancient city that later became the country’s capital, Mexico City. It narrates the city’s history through several periods, including its foundation in the 14th century, the period of tlatoque rule in pre-Hispanic times, the arrival of the Spanish conquerors in the early 16th century, and the Virreinal period, which lasted until the early 17th century.

The manuscripts also cover the foundation of the town of San Andrés Fetilco and contain the inventory list of the church of San Andrés Tetilco.

According to media outlet El País, the manuscripts were first discovered by historian María Castañeda de la Paz in 2009. After being told about them by a friend, Castañeda de la Paz visited the family that owned them and realized they are rare and significant to Mexico’s history.

The Mexican government later approached the family and negotiated an acquisition by paying 9.5 million pesos ($572,000) for the documents. They will now be stored in the code vault of the National Library of Anthropology and History.

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