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The Teocalli of Tenochtitlan : a digital interpretation of the Aztec Ceremonial Precinct Garcia Ocampo De Rivera, Antonieta Maria de La Paz 1996

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THE TEOCALLI OF TENOCHTITLAN: A DIGITAL INTERPRETATION OF THE AZTEC CEREMONIAL PRECINCT by ANTONIETA M A R I A DE L A P A Z G A R C I A O C A M P O D E R I V E R A B. Arch., Universidad Iberoamericana, 1990 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF A D V A N C E D STUDIES IN A R C H I T E C T U R E in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES School of Architecture We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard^ THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A October 1996 © Antonieta Maria de la Paz Garcia Ocampo de Rivera, 1996 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Depa>fnent of /^^V^UK^-The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT This thesis is an original interpretation of the Teocalli or Ceremonial Precinct of Tenochtitlan, the religious and political center of the Aztec Empire. The reconstruction was based on several types of sources, including: [1] historical (the accounts written by the conquistadors -Hernan Cortes and Bernal Diaz del Castillo- and the chronicles compiled by the missionaries -Fray Bernardino de Sahagun and Fray Diego Duran-);. [2] iconographical (the Codex Borbonicus, the Nuremberg Map, and the Primeros Memoriales Plan); and [3] archaeological materials (the 'Cathedral' and the 'Templo Mayor' excavations). Digital models were constructed by taking into consideration Aztec archaeoastronomical principles and measuring systems. The result is the most accurate and inclusive view of the Ceremonial Precinct since Tenochtitlan was destroyed more than five centuries ago. This research project is being presented in digital form in lieu of the conventional research paper. The organization of materials and findings into a multimedia format was particularly appealing due to its interactive character. The Aztec conception of the universe divided into layers was used as the metaphor for the digital design, therefore the interactive design was divided into six 'layers': [1] An 'Introduction' that defined the research project and the multimedia format; [2] 'The History and Culture of the Aztecs' that provided the cultural background; [3] 'The Role of Archaeoastronomy in Architecture' that explained the archaeoastronomical principles (concepts of positional astronomy employed in ancient Mesoamerican architecture) and the Aztec measuring systems; [4] 'The Digital Interpretations' that gave the user the option of exploring the Ceremonial Precinct either by source or by architectural element; [5] 'The Bibliography' that covered credits from books, images, and sound; and [6] 'Glossaries' that would help the user to understand terms, chronology and ceremonies of the Aztecs. The results of this thesis are of interest to a wide range of disciplines, since it offers not only one of the most accurate views of the Ceremonial Precinct of Tenochtitlan, but it also demonstrates the application of archaeoastronomical and geometrical principles for reconstructing Aztec architecture. K e y w o r d s Archaeoastronomy, Architecture, Aztec, Mexico, Multimedia, 'Templo Mayor', Tenochtitlan, Teocalli 


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