- Archive: Coins from Iran
- Archive: Gamelan
- Archive: Imagining the forest
- Archive: Indian Summer
- Archive: Intimate Portrait
- Archive: Manga
- Archive: Medals of Dishonour
- Archive: Mexican prints 1910
- Archive: Moctezuma
- Archive: Shanghai Treasures
- Archive: Shah 'Abbas
- Archive: Shields from Pacific
- Archive: Staffordshire Hoard
- Archive: Takhti
- Archive: The power of dogu
- Archive: Tutbury Castle
24 September 2009 –
24 January 2010
This major exhibition explores Aztec (Mexica) civilisation through the divine, military and political role of the last elected ruler, Moctezuma II (reigned AD 1502–1520). Rediscover the world of the Mexica and trace the foundation of modern Mexico.
An unrivalled empire
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, and this remained so until the devastating arrival of strangers – Cortés and his Spanish fleet.
The Spanish invasion
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.
Tracing modern Mexico
Rediscover the world of the Mexica and trace the foundation of modern Mexico in the British Museum’s next major exhibition on great rulers.
“Autumn’s biggest show”
“A true-life epic”
“A sumptuous new exhibition”
Highlights from the exhibition
Mosaic mask of Tezcatlipoca. Mexica/Mixtec, 15th–16th century AD. From Mexico. Find out more
Knife with a mosaic handle and a chalcedony blade. Mexica/Mixtec, 15th–16th century AD. From Mexico. Find out more
Mosaic mask of Quetzalcoatl. Mexica/Mixtec, 15th–16th century AD. From Mexico. Find out more
Turquoise mosaic of a double-headed serpent. Mexica/Mixtec, 15th–16th century AD. From Mexico. Find out more
Visit the Mexican gallery and discover the cultures of Mexico from prehistoric times to the sixteenth century.