This piece of art is important and representative of this time period because it represents what looks like a stone pyramid, Cholollan, Tollan and a catholic bell which are all important symbols of what happened in Mesoamerica when the Spanish took over.
Overview: The visual is a stone carving with traces of stucco. Its divided into four quadrants. Starting with the top left going clockwise is a simple stone pyramid with maybe something at the top but it’s hard to see. Going down there is a tower, possible the top of an entrance to something or a pyramid with the name, “Cholollan” on it. To the right of this is another interesting shape with patterns. It could maybe be a ship or trying to represent a building. Inside the word, “Tollan” is carved. Lastly going up is a bell with a cross on it. Over all its simple looking with dark grey stone. Most indentions are clearly visible.
Parts: Starting on the top left quadrant there is a pyramid that seems to be made out of stone. Each block looks to be trying to be the same size. Nothing is sticking out except for maybe something at the top to represent that its the top of something significant. There is nothing in the sky or in the background meaning they just wanted us to focus on the pyramid being shown. Going down there is an “s” looking symbol in a block on top of a longer base. In between the “s” symbol and the word are little bumps going across, probably of decoration. There is a word in call caps that spells out, “Cholollan”. The letters are carved deep and have details in the “lollan” portion. The first “L” and “O” have lines across them. The rest of the Ls have exaggerated beginnings and endings as do the “A” and “N”. Going to the right is another large symbol with a word inside. It’s a large and wide “U” looks shape with long and short pegs at the top. The long pegs are of course sticking out more. Under these are the same bumps as in the other portion, with exactly the same number of them. This Time the word is “Tollan” in all caps with again exaggerated beginnings and endings to the letters. Lastly is the top right quadrant. This simply has another square outline, mushroom looking border with a bell inside. The bell has a think christian cross in it. Like the letters the cross seems to have exaggerated beginnings and endings.
Title: The title of this art is, “Relief Block with Coat of Arms of Cholula.” It tells us that it is a relief block which is now used with ink but back then probably used with carving stone or maybe molding clay as well. “Coat of Arms of Cholula” tells us that this is a distinctive heraldic bearing or shield of Cholula. Cholula is not only a hot sauce but was also a major center contemporaneous with Teotihuacan and seems to have avoided, at least partially, that city’s fate of violent destruction at the end of the Mesoamerican Classic period.
Interpretation: During this time a Spanish man, Cortes led a conquest on Tenochtitlán and other places in Mexico spreading disease and causing mayhem. The front of this block, divided into quadrants, features four pictures. In the lower section are the Aztec names for what seem to be the towns of Cholollan and Tollan. Cholollan in Aztec times was called tlachihualtepetl, meaning “hand-made hill,” a reference to the ancient man-made pyramid at the site. The identifying glyph is a mound with a trumpet inscribed on it. The picture, Tollan, meaning “place of the reeds,” is a “lake” with stylized reeds growing from it. It is possible that the two upper symbols represent early colonial versions of the place names. Cholollan as in the hill with a cross atop standing for the church the Spaniards built on the pyramid, and Tollan as a bell tower incised with a small cross on the bell. So the bottom could be the names of the top cities, which are placed in the Aztec empire.
Context: At this time in history Columbus found the already inhabited Americas. Later Cortes led a Spanish conquest on their land consisting of slaughters, rape and over control of Aztec cities. During his march through Mexico, he encountered a group of natives called the Tlaxcalans, who were enemies of the Aztecs. They became an important ally for Cortés during his siege of Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital city. Smallpox helped in the conquest of Tenochtitlán.
Conclusion: As a whole I think this piece is just representing different but also key parts or places of the Aztec empire. Its important to what we are studying because the Spanish conquest had a major affect on the people, land and future of Mesoamerica. Through this piece we are able to see what they wanted to remember or what they thought was important to their empire. The Aztecs, like other Mesoamerican peoples before them, devised a form of writing to record important events and other aspects of their culture. We are able to learn what it was like through pieces like this one. Over all this is an Aztec stone sculpture that is divided into different parts representing four different places or maybe just two with the names on the bottom and a symbol to represent it on the top.