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Thread: has montezuma's tomb been found ...?

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  1. #496
    Charter Member

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
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    Re: has montezuma's tomb been found ...?

    kanabite,

    Each and every day that could change with the turn of a spade. It is likely they have found the tomb, as you have hinted, of Huehuetlatoani Ahuitzotl, who died in 1502. If you are following the story of that excavation, you know that date is one of the important clues as to what they have found.

    To date, as far as I know, you are correct......technically.

    Perhaps I should have written: Historically there is no mystery. In other words, he was not taken to Arizona or Utah......etc. to be interred.

    Joe Ribaudo

  2. #497
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    Re: has montezuma's tomb been found ...?

    Cactusjumper wrote:
    To get the proper perspective on how Moctezuma's body was treated after death, you really need to read the complete accounts of both priests.
    Well Joe thanks for the suggestion; my interest is not quite that deep, and I don't actually "need" to know; I was under the impression that no special tomb was prepared for Montezuma at all and that he was held in fairly low esteem at the time of his death. My question was whether anyone thinks it possible that Montezuma's ashes could have been placed in a tomb, which seems unlikely to me. Blindbowman's statement about having found the "tomb of Montezuma" thus took me by surprise (like so many statements) and I asked him if perhaps his impression of the "tomb of Montezuma" might not be symbolic rather than literal, but he insists it is literally true and mentioned having spoken with Montezuma himself. So I am trying to determine whether his theory is possible, not whether it is plausible. Let me be a bit more specific.

    They toss Montezuma onto a heap of wood and burn it, then what? Would someone then be able to sift out his ashes/remains from the wood ashes? Or would it be pretty tough to tell where Montezuma began and wood ash ended? I am no expert on cremation, but I think the large bones might survive such treatment (i recall hearing how the large bones and skull are later ground up at crematoriums) so PERHAPS it would be possible to separate "something" after cremation that could be put into a tomb, right? Or do you think the fire would be hot enough/long enough to result in virtually nothing that could be later separated as human remains? In other ancient cultures that practiced cremation, the process could be complex or stupefyingly simple. What do you think? Could someone have sifted out Montezuma from an ash-pile to place in a tomb? Thank you in advance...
    Oroblanco
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  3. #498
    Charter Member

    Dec 2005
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    Re: has montezuma's tomb been found ...?

    Roy,

    I am unsure how to answer your last post. When you say "possible".......anything is possible, but to understand the chances for Moctezuma's ashes being placed in a tomb you would need to delve deeper into the history than you are willing to do.

    Done properly, his ashes would have been removed and place into a jar, along with his jewelry and precious stones. He would be buried with all of his possessions including his slaves, who would be sacrificed in his honor. The rites would last around ten days. None of that seems to have taken place.

    I have no idea why anyone would try to follow bowman's reasoning, other than for a little idle amusement, but I wish you well on that convoluted journey. Not much mystery as to why he is on that trip himself. Not to worry, as he will be back shortly to give us more to ponder.

    Have a good night,

    Joe

  4. #499
    us
    May 2006
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    the missing booty ?????

    where is the gold ??“ Surrounded at Tlatelolco, the Aztec lords decided to surrender on August 13, 1521. Emperor Cuauhtémoc went by canoe. He was taken to Cortés.
    "And so the war ended, we laid down our shields. We have suffered enough! Some fled across the lake others across the causeways. Spanish soldiers stopped people everywhere, looking for gold. They stripped the women, even peering into their mouths. As for the men many were taken and branded on the cheeks."

    "But what of the gold?" demanded Cortés. Cuauhtémoc directed that all that he had in his canoe be brought forth.

    "Is that all there is?" replied Cortés. An Aztec lord reminded the Spanish commander that they had taken all the gold, but had lost it in the Tolteca canal when they fled the city the year before.

    "Let Cortés listen," he said. "This is how that treasure was made. When Motecuhzoma was alive, war was declared and we, the Mexicas, the Tlalteoloca, the Tepaneca, and the Acolhua campaigned together. When we conquered, when a city fell, we all returned to our cities. Only later the people of the conquered cities came to us and brought their tribute: jade, turquoise, gold, and precious feathers; it was all brought here to Tenochtitlan… and now it is lost."

    —Florentine Codex

    Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish. Euripides

  5. #500
    Charter Member

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
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    Re: has montezuma's tomb been found ...?

    kanabite,

    Father Sahagun's "Florentine Codex" provides all of the information you need to explain where the gold came from, where it went and where it stood in importance to Aztec society. After all, what we are still primarily interested in......is the gold. Every Aztec knew, strangely enough, that the Spaniards were not interested in the real treasures they possessed: Jadeite, turquoise and precious feathers. Like you and I, they were only interested in.....gold.

    Your quoting of Father Sahagun's word's in the Florentine Codex, may have left out a little of the message:

    ["Cortes asks if this is absolutely all of it (the gold)," Marina said to him.
    "Perhaps some of the people got away with some," the ruler's deputy said. "It will be found. Our lord Cortes will have it."
    Then the high judge Auelitoctzin spoke. "let the nobleman, our lord Cortes, listen. This is how our treasure was acumulated. When Moctezuma was still alive, when a conquest was made, the Mexicans, Tlatelolcans, Tepanecans, and Acolhuacanians campaigned together. All the Mexicans, all the Acolhuacanians, all the floating garden people, all of us campaigned together in a war of conquest.
    "Then when the city fell, we returned, all separately, to our cities. Later the people of the conquered city came to us. They brought their tribute-the things which became the victors' goods: the jadeite, the gold, the precious feathers, the other precious stones, the fine turquoise, the lovely cotinga, the roseate spoonbill....The gave it to Moctezuma; it came here together. All the tribute, all the gold was together here in Tenochtitlan...." The War Of Conquest.

    This is where Sahagun's account ends.

    The Aztecs gave up everything.....Their lives, their country, their treasures, their women and eventually their gods. Cortes was not satisfied, and even today, we are not satisfied.

    What was gone/lost, was the source of the Aztec gold, that being the people of Mexico and the tribute they paid to the Triple Alliance that was in the end, Moctezuma.

    If you are asking specifically what happened to the gold that "fell into the Canal of the Toltecs", you can find that on page 142 of "The Broken Spears".

    Take care,

    Joe Ribaudo

  6. #501

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
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    Re: has montezuma's tomb been found ...?

    The possibility of someone finding it is probably higher than the possibility of someone reporting having found it, if they had. They'd be out there dodging behind trees and into holes every time an aircraft flew over unless it was located conveniently enough to have been found a couple of hundred years ago.





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  7. #502
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    Re: has montezuma's tomb been found ...? (LONG reply)

    Cactusjumper wrote:
    I am unsure how to answer your last post. When you say "possible".......anything is possible, but to understand the chances for Moctezuma's ashes being placed in a tomb you would need to delve deeper into the history than you are willing to do
    I get the impression that you keep assuming that I have not read many history books over the years Joe. I have read enough to know that there are (rare) times when the history books are incorrect. I am not taking the position that history has it wrong where Montezuma is concerned however.

    I actually own a fair library of books and have read every volume, and hope to dedicate a decent-sized room for them in my home. As it stands however I cannot even see the books, along with most of my belongings they are packed in a moving truck, unfortunately all the way to the front. If I had that to do over again, I think I would pack the books last, but the sheer weight of them suggested packing them more to the front rather than the back. In the meantime I have only our small selection of books (most obtained recently) and what our local library has, or the various material available on the internet, sometimes of very dubious reliability. I know that you have a pretty good personal library Joe, which is why I keep relying on your able memory and readily accessible resources. Do you know of some first-hand report source which states specifically what was done with the ashes of Montezuma after cremation? I sure don't. I believe the reason for this apparent omission in the record is that his ashes were not given any special treatment at all; so to search for his "tomb" is an exercise in imagination, rather than a search for something real. Your next statement is very much what I believe,
    The rites would last around ten days. None of that seems to have taken place.
    To my (admittedly dull) mind, the logical explanation is that no rites or special treatment is recorded because nothing like this occurred. I am wiling to grant that it is POSSIBLE that something was done, surreptitiously, but before I can believe anything like that actually happened, I need to see solid proof.

    I am also in agreement with you Joe, that anything is possible but when we say "possible" it is one thing to say that the ashes of Montezuma were magically transported to a secret tomb, another to say is it possible that someone would have gone to the trouble of gathering his ashes and this act NOT get recorded? I have trouble with this idea, that someone or some group would have bothered to take his ashes and secretly move them to the Superstitions. I still have trouble with the idea of sifting out his ashes from those of the wood, and don't know if any of the bones would be intact - though modern cremations do usually have large bones remaining, we know that in cases of "spontaneous human combustion" that it is possible for even large bones to be reduced to ash. Would there be anything for some admirer(s) to be able to put in a tomb? I have doubts about this point. (I also have a personal experience in cremating an animal, [a pet that died] and only a single bone remained after burning overnight, even this bone was so fragile that it fell apart when I tried to move it.)

    Cactusjumper also wrote:
    I have no idea why anyone would try to follow bowman's reasoning, other than for a little idle amusement, but I wish you well on that convoluted journey. Not much mystery as to why he is on that trip himself. Not to worry, as he will be back shortly to give us more to ponder.
    Well Joe I try to keep an open mind even to far-fetched theories, and consider you folks to be friends worth the small effort involved for me to try to understand the ideas. It has been quite a winding path and I must admit, I remain un-convinced of the various theories presented (running the gamut from the Lost Dutchman Mine to Montezuma's Tomb) but am willing to 'listen' (read) to any and all ideas that we are presented. Why not? I actually think that our amigo Blindbowman has in fact found something - something that he does not understand and has been trying out various ideas (some pretty wild) to see if they will fit. He has a little different way of saying things that comes across as very absolute, definitive - for example if I found some place that I thought to be the tomb of Montezuma, I would likely say that I believe it could be such, Blindbowman does not "qualify" his statements but will say that it IS the tomb of Montezuma, even if he is not fully convinced of it himself. At least that is my impression of his statements, and can be seen in a pattern over many posts and many theories. It is entertaining, if at times frustrating. Over the years I have listened to even more far-fetched ideas than Blindbowman has put forth, though I am not a believer in them either. I have a friend in the Flat Earth Society who sure presented some whoppers for instance, and another friend convinced of mind-control-implants placed in his head by the US military are another example. The fellow with the mind-control-implants was quite an accomplished finder of fossils, many of which are in some famous museums, as well as an expert in identifying fake ancient coins; my point is that a person can have some far-out ideas and still be an interesting and intelligent person. I have found that most people have at least some ideosycracies, myself included, just that many people prefer to hide these personal 'foibles' from the general public. For that matter I have some far-fetched theories of my own, that you might well find ridiculous or even comical, just that in the discussions we have had here, we are on quite a different subject or subjects.

    (I have even run across a fellow who claimed to be Jesus Christ; now when we see or hear such claims, some people then will dismiss that person and everything about them which is not necessarily justified. This first fellow I met who claimed to be Christ, once we got past his identity claims, turned out to be a very talented artist and quite intelligent, just that he had an identity delusion. His habit of introducing himself as Christ put off many people, when really it was a relatively harmless delusion on his part. He eventually recovered from his personal delusions, a long story but just an example.)

    Joe I am also in agreement with you on where Montezuma's gold went too - into the canals along the line of retreat of Cortez during La Noche Triste. If I were going to try to find any of it, that is where I would start.

    Good luck and good hunting Joe, (and everyone reading here) I hope you find the treasures that you seek.
    Your friend,
    Roy ~ Oroblanco
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  8. #503
    Charter Member

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
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    Re: has montezuma's tomb been found ...?

    Roy,

    The one thing I know for sure, is that you are a man with wide ranging historical knowledge. Since you are not making claims of being thousands of years old, I assume that a good deal of that knowledge was gleaned from books.

    My comment was in reply to this:

    "my interest is not quite that deep"

    In reading the history, related to Father's Duran and Sahagun by the Aztecs, I learned that people who were even suspected of trying to get into the palace to see Moctezuma were killed by the enraged Aztecs. That alone indicates how Moctezuma's body might have been treated after his death.

    I don't disagree that history can be distorted, and there is no doubt that is the case with this period in time. Should you decide to read "The War Of Conquest", it will give you some confidence that Father Sahagun's writings are as good as it gets.......assuming he did not put it all together out of whole cloth. There is nothing positive to be gained in believing that, because you will be left with very little of the Aztec side of the story.

    No disrespect was intended.

    Take care,

    Joe


  9. #504
    Charter Member

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
    5,756
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    Re: has montezuma's tomb been found ...?

    Roy,

    "Joe I am also in agreement with you on where Montezuma's gold went too - into the canals along the line of retreat of Cortez during La Noche Triste. If I were going to try to find any of it, that is where I would start."

    It is clearly stated in all of the historical accounts I have read, that the Aztecs, on the morning after the "night of sorrows" cleaned everything out of the canals. That, of course, included any gold the Spaniards had been carrying with them.

    Most of the gold seems to have been recovered by the Spaniards.

    "Do you know of some first-hand report source which states specifically what was done with the ashes of Montezuma after cremation? I sure don't. I believe the reason for this apparent omission in the record is that his ashes were not given any special treatment at all; so to search for his "tomb" is an exercise in imagination, rather than a search for something real."

    I have never read an account, concerning the body of Moctezuma, that mentions anything beyond the cremation of his body. That does not mean that such a story does not exist, but it would have to originate with an Aztec. Since my memory is not so good anymore, it's possible I have read something about the ashes, in the past, but that seems unlikely.

    Take care,

    Joe

  10. #505
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    Jan 2005
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    Re: has montezuma's tomb been found ...?

    Greetings Cactusjumper and everyone,

    Joe I mis-read your comment (as usual) and thought I should explain why I keep asking you (and others) for references; I will request a copy of your suggested book through interlibrary loan too. That is what I meant by "not quite that deep" - our local library, while well stocked as small-town public libraries go, has very little in southwestern history and most things have to be requested via interlibrary loan. Besides, I am not SO well-read so as to be able to claim to have read every source, and there is always much more to learn. (for me) I think you have probably researched this part of history far more than I have, Joe.
    your friend,
    Roy ~ Oroblanco
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
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  11. #506

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
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    Re: has montezuma's tomb been found ...?

    You're on your own track and even if you were inclined to bow to the opinions of others about what might have happened how and where you'd merely be doing it based on a series of assertions and probabilities. The words of only one man describing the circumstances of the death of Montezuma have survived. He described the scene on the wall, saw the angry Aztecs below, heard and saw the angry demonstration conducted in a tongue that wasn't Spanish. Bernal Diaz then saw Montezuma killed by someone in the mob.

    Someone told Diaz the meaning of the shouting exchange, or he surmised it. We don't know and can't know whether his description of what was shouted carries any truth. We can't even be sure Montezuma didn't ask to be killed to relieve his people of the burden imposed on them by his captivity. We have nothing but our own opinions and imaginations as a foundation for assertions about attitudes the Aztecs had toward him and his corpse.

    I don't happen to believe during those times when warriors were throwing themselves in waves against the Spaniards and their allies that they'd have spared anyone to carry his body any distance. At that point they still thought they'd win this war. If they wanted to entomb the corpse I'd be inclined to think they did it nearby.

    But my opinion and the opinion of everyone else who has one rests completely on weighing probabilities founded on shaky chains of evidence. If you someday find a tomb you can prove contains the remains of Montezuma we'll all forget our doubts soon enough. Meanwhile, it seems to give you a way to spend your time you find satisfying.

    I salute your quest without the need to believe it.

    Good luck finding something of value to you.

    J




  12. #507
    us
    Feb 2006
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    Re: has montezuma's tomb been found ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Highmountain
    You're on your own track and even if you were inclined to bow to the opinions of others about what might have happened how and where you'd merely be doing it based on a series of assertions and probabilities. The words of only one man describing the circumstances of the death of Montezuma have survived. He described the scene on the wall, saw the angry Aztecs below, heard and saw the angry demonstration conducted in a tongue that wasn't Spanish. Bernal Diaz then saw Montezuma killed by someone in the mob.

    Someone told Diaz the meaning of the shouting exchange, or he surmised it. We don't know and can't know whether his description of what was shouted carries any truth. We can't even be sure Montezuma didn't ask to be killed to relieve his people of the burden imposed on them by his captivity. We have nothing but our own opinions and imaginations as a foundation for assertions about attitudes the Aztecs had toward him and his corpse.

    I don't happen to believe during those times when warriors were throwing themselves in waves against the Spaniards and their allies that they'd have spared anyone to carry his body any distance. At that point they still thought they'd win this war. If they wanted to entomb the corpse I'd be inclined to think they did it nearby.

    But my opinion and the opinion of everyone else who has one rests completely on weighing probabilities founded on shaky chains of evidence. If you someday find a tomb you can prove contains the remains of Montezuma we'll all forget our doubts soon enough. Meanwhile, it seems to give you a way to spend your time you find satisfying.

    I salute your quest without the need to believe it.

    Good luck finding something of value to you.

    J
    Very eloquently spoken! Your observation sounds like it would fit fairly well as a general comment on searching for lost treasures as a whole.

    "There is no getting away from a treasure that once fastens upon your mind" - Joseph Conrad (Nostromo)

  13. #508
    Charter Member

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
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    Re: has montezuma's tomb been found ...?

    Roy,

    A few more things about Aztec treasure:

    From "The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico", starting on page sixty-six, you can read this:

    "When the Spaniards were installed in the palace, they asked Motecuhzoma about the city's resources and reserves and about the warriors' ensigns and shields. They questioned him closely and then demanded gold.
    Motecuhzoma guided them to it. They surrounded him and crowded close with their weapons. He walked in the center, while they formed a circle around him.
    When they arrived at the treasure house called Teucalco, the riches of gold and feathers were brought out to them: ornaments made of quetzal feathers, richly worked shields, disks of gold, the necklaces of the idols, gold nose plugs, gold greaves and bracelets and crowns.
    The Spaniards immediately stripped the feathers from the gold shields and ensigns. They gathered all the gold into a great mound and set fire to everything else, regardless of its value. then they melted down the gold into ingots. As for the precious green stones, they took only the best of them; the rest were snatched up by the Tlaxcaltecas. The Spaniards searched through the whole treasure house, questioning and quarreling, and seized every object they thought was beautiful."

    A short passage with the title of " The Seizure of Motecuhzoma's Treasures" follows the above account:

    "Next they (the Spaniards) went to Motecuhzoma's storehouse, in the place called Totocalco [Place of the Palace of the Birds], where his personal treasures were kept. The Spaniards grinned like little beasts and patted each other with delight.
    when the entered the hall of treasures, it was as if they had arrived in Paradise. They searched everywhere and coveted everything; they were slaves to their own greed. All of Motecuhzoma's possessions were brought out: fine bracelets, necklaces with large stones, ankle rings with little gold bells, the royal crowns and all the royal finery-everything that belonged to the king and was reserved to him only. They seized these treasures as if they were their own, as if this plunder were merely a stroke of good luck. And when they had taken all the gold, they heaped up everything else in the middle of the patio."

    I believe this pretty well covers Motecuhzoma's treasures and what became of them. Everything else is, likely, fiction made up to sell books.

    Take care,

    Joe

  14. #509
    Charter Member

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
    5,756
    989 times

    Re: has montezuma's tomb been found ...?

    Highmountain,

    "You're on your own track and even if you were inclined to bow to the opinions of others about what might have happened how and where you'd merely be doing it based on a series of assertions and probabilities. The words of only one man describing the circumstances of the death of Montezuma have survived. He described the scene on the wall, saw the angry Aztecs below, heard and saw the angry demonstration conducted in a tongue that wasn't Spanish. Bernal Diaz then saw Montezuma killed by someone in the mob.

    Someone told Diaz the meaning of the shouting exchange, or he surmised it. We don't know and can't know whether his description of what was shouted carries any truth. We can't even be sure Montezuma didn't ask to be killed to relieve his people of the burden imposed on them by his captivity. We have nothing but our own opinions and imaginations as a foundation for assertions about attitudes the Aztecs had toward him and his corpse."

    You are mistaken here. The Aztec's own story is well documented by a number historians......of the time. Not the least of which, were the Aztecs themselves.

    Neither side can be completely believed, but it's all we have. One side is no better or worse when it comes to the true facts of the events. In all cases, I choose to take the historical accounts over the treasure hunters.

    Take care,

    Joe Ribaudo



  15. #510
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    Jan 2005
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    Re: has montezuma's tomb been found ...?

    HOLA mi amigos,

    Joe I edited my last post, had a bit more I wanted to add and by the time I got it posted we have new posts. Just wanted to explain a bit more for my taking advantage of your memory and personal reference library. Thank you for that extra bit from The Broken Spears too - one item listed in the booty actually catches my eye too as something rather odd - the gold greaves. For anyone reading this, if you never heard of greaves don't feel too ill-informed, they are a type of metal body armor that is worn on the lower part of the leg, below the knee, that extends to the ankle. Now I wish those Spanish had not melted down those particular items...

    Cubfan I have to "ditto" your remarks on Highmountain's post too. We should not rely only on the record of events as told only by one side (the Spanish) when we have the Aztec version available as well to compare it to.

    Cactusjumper wrote:
    In all cases, I choose to take the historical accounts over the treasure hunters.
    WHAT?!! Do you mean to say that our treasure hunters might have "fluxed" the facts to suit a pet idea? Heck don't they say in Texas, "Never let the facts get in the way of a good story"?

    Oroblanco
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

 

 
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