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Wheels and Chariots in Pre-Columbian America



A wheeled deer (or perhaps dog), in Remojadas style. Height: 7 in.; length: 8 in.; from Coe, M, Snow, D, and Benson, E, Atlas of Ancient America; Facts on File, New York, 1986; Wikimedia Commons

 

Where Science Meets the Book of Mormon: Come Follow Me Lesson: July 1-7; Alma 17-22


We read in Alma 18:8-9, “And it came to pass that king Lamoni inquired of his servants, saying: Where is this man [Ammon] that has such great power? And they said unto him: Behold, he is feeding thy horses. Now the king had commanded his servants, previous to the time of the watering of their flocks, that they should prepare his horses and chariots, and conduct him forth to the land of Nephi; for there had been a great feast appointed at the land of Nephi, by the father of Lamoni, who was king over all the land.”

 

These verses appear to present one of the greatest stumbling-blocks to people trying to make physical connections to the Book of Mormon’s historicity. For many people, there were no chariots, no wheels, and no horses in the pre-Columbian Americas. However, recent, obscure publications have shown that post-Pleistocene, pre-Columbian horses were present in Montana and central México during Book of Mormon times.1 

 

The photograph at the beginning of this blog shows a wheeled “toy” or perhaps “religious artifact” with wheels. This object is from the Remojadas culture, which flourished on Mexico's Veracruz Gulf Coast around 100 BC to 800 AD. Numerous such “toys” have been discovered in Mexico, thus demonstrating that knowledge of the wheel existed in the Americas long before Europeans brought that technology to the New World. Apparently, no wheeled “toys” have been found that dating to a more recent time than 800 AD. So, the tradition that spawned them, and even the knowledge of their existence and purpose, had disappeared long before the Spanish conquest.

 

Therefore, if horses and wheels existed in at least some parts of the pre-Columbian Americas, why not chariots? Chariot racing was one of the most popular sports in ancient Greece, Rome, and Byzantium, and most Roman cities had at least one chariot racing circuit. However, finding ancient chariots in Italy is a very rare event. Recently, researchers in Italy discovered a well-preserved four-wheeled chariot in a stable at Civita Giuliana, a villa just outside of Pompeii, dating to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Massimo Osanna, interim director of the Pompeii historic site, said, “This is an extraordinary discovery that advances our understanding of the ancient world.” Although researchers at Pompeii had previously discovered vehicles used for everyday transportation, this ornate chariot was the first of its kind unearthed in its entirety. Osanna said that the chariot, “…happens to be in this case an object that is relatively rare despite its ubiquity in the past.”2


The oldest chariots so far discovered  are from burials belonging to the Sintashta culture from the Middle Bronze Age of the Southern Urals on the Western Eurasia steppes in what is now Chelyabinsk OblastRussia, and date from around 1950–1880 BC.3 This culture spread southward into South Asia around 1750 BC, and into Asia-Minor by around 1700 BC.4 The wheel was known in ancient Egypt by at least the 5th Dynasty (24652323 BC), but the earliest wheeled transport emerged only during the 13th Dynasty (1803–1649 BC).5 It is thought that the chariot was introduced into Egypt from Syria with the Hyksos invasion from the Middle East some time between 1786 and 1575 BC.6 Frances James has stated, “At the period in human history which we are considering, the chariot—which is to say any type of wheeled vehicle whatsoever—was absolutely new in Egypt. It was not a variation on an earlier prototype or model but something which had never before existed at all in this area.”7 Thutmose III, the sixth pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, who ruled Egypt from 1479 BC to 1425 BC, “had over a thousand chariots at his disposal.”8 After the Battle of Megiddo, fought in 1479 BC, between an Egyptian army under the command of Pharaoh Thutmose III and a large coalition of rebellious Canaanite vassal states, led by the king of Kadesh, Thutmose III listed 892 captured chariots belonging to the Canaanite king.9


In a 1974 review, Frances James stated, “As the wealthiest nation of the ancient world, Egypt was essentially mass producing chariots during the Empire…Since nearly all of the elements of the chariot are of wood or leather, the case for its introduction into both Canaan and Egypt has to date rested on inscriptions, paintings and reliefs of various sorts, horse and/or chariot burials, plus the wheels of model chariot offerings, usually made of pottery. These are all good positive evidence, saying that the chariot was there. But chariots may have been present when no representations, burials or mention in literature was made of them.” With all the war chariots used by the Egyptians and their enemies, before the discovery of six disassembled chariots in the tomb of Tutankhamun, only three other Egyptian chariots are known; one of them belonged to Yuya, the grandfather of Tutankhamun. “A few complete wheels are also known, notably the six-spoke wheels from the chariot of Amenophis Ill, c. 1417-1379 B.C. These were found in the wreckage of his tomb in the Valley of the Kings…”10

 

Historically, it has been common for Africans to personally carry goods or to use pack animals. None-the-less, there also has been broad awareness, knowledge, and use of wheeled vehicles, such as carts, carriageschariots, and wagons. However, the environment in certain areas of tropical Africa, as well as alternative forms of travel and transport, may have resulted in decreased use of animal-drawn wheeled vehicles in Africa.11


In North Africa, Central Saharan, some five hundred rock art engravings of ox-drawn wagons and horse-driven chariots dating from 3200 to 1000 year ago exist in AlgeriaLibya, southern Morocco,  Mauritania, and Niger.12 Rock art at Tondia, Niger, shows an ox cart, but the use of such vehicles apparently begun to decline when camels became the primary means of transport by the 4th century AD.13 Chariots were probably introduced to the Saharan region by people of the Garamantes culture, who are thought to be descended from the Berbers. There is very little written about the Garamantes; what few texts that exist come primarily from Greek and Roman sources. It is not certain whether chariots were actually driven along the routes where the rock art depictions occur; chariot remains have never been found west of the Fezzan (the southwestern portion of modern Libya). “The absence of archaeological evidence for chariots has led to the suggestion that some representations of chariots may have been the result of cultural diffusion, transmitted orally by nomadic peoples traversing the region. Artists may never have actually seen the vehicles themselves.14 Robin Law stated, “The evidence of rock art is at once the most dramatic and the most difficult to evaluate.” Chariotry was replaced by cavalry in the Libyans north of the desert around 300 BC.15 


In a later paper on the subject of wheeled vehicles in Africa, Law stated, “One of the most important differences in technology between Africa south of the Sahara during the pre-colonial period…was the almost complete absence…of any form of wheeled transport…The lack of wheels in sub-Sahara Africa, it is clear, cannot have been due simply to ignorance since many areas of the continent had been in contact with wheel-using civilizations…for several centuries before the colonial conquest at the end of the nineteenth century.” He continued, “The non-adoption of the wheel in pre-colonial Africa, despite its obvious central importance for an understanding of the character of African societies, has attracted surprisingly little attention from historians of the continent. Many general histories of Africa, indeed, fail altogether to mention the absence of the wheel, far less to offer any explanation of it.”16


In a report published just last year, Tom Metcalf stated, “Archaeologists in Siberia have discovered the untouched 3,000-year-old grave of a person thought to be a charioteer — indicating for the first time that horse-drawn chariots were used in the region…The skeletal remains were interred with a distinctive hooked metal attachment for a belt, which allowed drivers of horse-drawn chariots to tie their reins to their waists and free their hands. This type of artifact has also been found in Chinese and Mongolian graves.”17

 

Without the burials (mainly that of Tutankhamun) and murals in tombs and temples of Egypt, chariots largely would be unknown there — despite their ubiquitous use. Even with the rock art in North Africa, other evidence for chariots in parts of that region is absent. Without the one apparent “charioteer” grave in Siberia, chariots in that region would be unknown. So, what might we say about chariots in the pre-Columbian New World, as depicted in Alma 18:8-9? 


Robin Heyworth stated in 2014, “Mesoamerican wheeled toys have been something of an enigma since they were first discovered by Desire Charnay in the late 19th century. At first, the discovery was met with scepticism and it wasn’t until controlled excavations at Tres Zapotes in the 1940s revealed two more wheeled figurines that their existence was considered authentic. There are around 100 known examples thus far and they vary in construction according to where they were found. Small solid-bodied examples were found around the Veracruz and northern coastal regions, whilst larger hollow-bodied examples have been found in Veracruz, Michoacan, Geurrero and El Salvador. If putting wheels on an animal wasn’t strange enough, the larger type are often flutes or whistles with the posterior or tail being used as a mouthpiece.”18


Javier Urcid said, “In circles of specialists and non-specialists the question remains as to why the wheel was not invented in Mesoamerica, a question that implicitly presupposes two pernicious ideas: 1) that technological changes are part of an incremental and unilinear development of the human intellect detached from a social, political, and economic context, and 2) that the concept underlying the use of the wheel is only applicable to mechanized or motorized transport technologies. Hence, the absence of rolling conveyance in pre-Hispanic times is used to paternalistically compare the “achievements” of various civilizations, perpetuating in turn a western and colonialist perspective in the study of ancient Mesoamerican cultures.” Urcid then discussed wheeled “toys,” as discussed earlier by Caso and colleagues stating that they, “…had to be originally rolling objects that had wooden axes - the wood already decayed over time - and four wheels…” and concluded, “…that the wheel was an independent invention in Mesoamerica, and in addition to having several practical uses, it had another one of a symbolic order.”19


Urcid proposed that, “…the ancient inhabitants of Mesoamerica did not apply the concept of revolving movement to transportation ‘simply because they did not want to, because of atavistic concepts worthy of being taken into account.’” Perhaps this was because Mesoamericans, “…emphasized the indigenous ethos towards sacrifice and the offering of physical effort to the deities…[in] domains such as in lithics and carved stone, traditionalism dominated…Regarding transport technologies, we can also mention the desire for the symbolic display of social rank. Thus, the privilege of the rulers, nobles, and even material and human personifications of deities, was emphasized in public contexts through their hauling in litters (pic 9).”20 




My drawing of an image showing a person in a litter (palanquin; 8th century AD). The original was painted on the Ratinlixul Vase, excavated by Robert Burkitt in 1917 from Chama, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. University Museum Philadelphia. The colored version was one of the figures shown in Urcid’s pic. 9. Notice the dog-like animal under the palanquin.


As an aside: In looking at images of native animals to the Americas, I could find no animal with a tail held in a curve like the one depicted in the above image. Not even wolves or coyotes hold their tails like that. This picture appears to depict some otherwise unknown dog-like animal in Guatemala around the 8th century AD. That animal reinforces the idea that we may be far from having a complete understanding of the ancient Americas.


Africa is a continent of 11,724,000 square miles, and around 80% of that total is Sub-Saharan (9,382,000 square miles). Therefore, before colonial times (at the end of the nineteenth century), only 20% of Africa had wheeled vehicles, such as chariots. North America has around 9,365,000 square miles (very nearly the same size as Sub-Saharan Africa) and South America is 6,880,000 square miles; combined there are 16,245,000 square miles in the Americas. If 20% or less of the pre-Columbian Americas had some form of wheeled vehicles, there is plenty of room here to lose them. Given that although we know the Egyptians and other ancient people had numerous chariots, the ones that have been discovered are extremely few, nearly all in King Tutankhamun’s tomb. There are a few graphic depictions of chariots, mostly on tomb and temple walls and on Saharan rock art, and only in 20% of Africa. If those art forms are not typical of the art in America, or were used in places where we do not have surviving pre-historic art, we may be missing depictions of similar items in the ancient New World.


Then there is this picture:




The heading to this figure says CAP. 66: Chapter 66. The caption at lower right says: Lit. de Jules Desportes Inst. Imper des Sourds Mucto: Lithograph by Jules Desportes, Institution (Imper?) des Sourd-Muets [rue Saint-Jacques]


The heading to Chapter LXVI (p. 477) of the History of the Indies of New Spain and islands of Tierra Firme, Volume I, by Diego Durán, 1579 (also called the Duran Codex) is titled, “How Montecuhzoma [c. 1466 – 29 June 1520] ordered the largest stone that could be found be brought for the sacrifice of the flaying of men.”21 A color Alamy image shows the same scene with a hand-written line of text and three lines below the image — presumably in the original hand-writing of Diego Durán. The lines above and below show the hand-written text: “Chapter LXVI de comoma.”22 Getty Images, Bridgeman Images, and Meisterdrucke Fine Art Prints all show the same color image with the same incorrect title: “Aztecs transporting stones to build their cities, stretch watercolor from the History of the Indies of New Spain by Diego Duran (1537-1588), manuscript, folio 188 recto, 1579. Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional (Library) (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images).”23

  

This image sometimes has been dismissed as post-Columbian, post-Spanish conquest, but is it? The context suggests that it is actually depicting a pre-conquest event. For example, the Chapter 5 figure of the Durán Codex depicts the founding of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), which occurred around 1325.24 Therefore, it is clear that even though the images are post-conquest they portray events occurring in the past history of the Aztecs/Mexica civilization. Durán stated in his Chapter III, “So great were the feats and exploits of the Aztecs, so full of adventure, that those who are not acquainted with these exploits and with these people will enjoy hearing of their ancient customs and of their origins and descendants, and of many other events regarding them that are worthy of remembrance. I am aware of the great difficulties in relating these ancient histories, especially since they begin so far back in the past. Moreover, some early friars burned ancient books and writings and thus they were lost…It also seems to me that it will be impossible to tell everything that has occurred in this New Spain, as it is such a large country. There are so many kingdoms, provinces, cities, and villages here, so many large towns where innumerable people lived, divided into many nations, languages, and ways of life, as well as dress and customs.”25


The Codex consists of 78 chapters, spanning the time from the Aztec creation story until the fall of the Aztec Empire to the Spaniards 13 August 1521. Perhaps the Chapter 66 figure dates to a time after the Aztec encountered the Spaniards and, therefore, the wheels in the figure were ideas brought by the Spanish from Europe. Such a scenario is highly unlikely because the time between the first encounter of the Aztec and the Spaniards (Moctezuma first received reports of Spaniards landing on the east coast of his empire in 151826) and Moctezuma’s death (29 June 1520) was only two years. Earlier contacts are excluded by the history of infectious disease brought to the New World from Europe. When the Spanish landed at what is now Veracruz, they apparently unwittingly brought along an African slave infected with smallpox. By mid-October the virus was sweeping through Tenochtitlán, killing nearly half of the population (an estimated 50,000 to 300,000 people). Hernán Cortés and his troops first entered Tenochtitlán 8 November 1519. By the time the Spanish began their final conquest of Tenochtitlán, 22 May 1521, thousands of bodies lay scattered all around the city, allowing the relatively small Spanish force to overwhelm the remaining defenders.27


Chapter 66 of the Durán Codex, with which the above figure is associated, tells a very strange story. The existing sacrificial stones in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan were not big enough for Moctezuma, so he ordered a search for the greatest stone ever created for his sacrifices. “The stonemasons came …to the province of Chalco, in a place they call Aculco, which is towards Tepopula, next to the river that came down from Amecamecan, [where] they found a very powerful stone appropriate for what the King wanted…” Using “all their accessories of ropes and levers…” they freed the stone “from where it was attached.” “Indians without number” were sent to bring the stone to Tenochtitlan.28 

 

Priests made great sacrifices at the Stone; they poured libations on the stone and, carrying incense, rounded the Stone many times. They killed quail and spilled their blood on the stone. Several “thick and long” ropes were tied to the stone and, with much singing, shouting, and cheering, the people began to pull on it. “…after having persisted for a long time to get it to be torn from its place, without making any movement, all the ropes were cut and broke, as if they were made of very soft cotton.” The priests made more sacrifices another day and new ropes were added, along with more people recruited. None-the-less, “the very thick ropes were broken to pieces.”29 

 

Then the stone began to speak, “‘Poor, wretched, and unfortunate people: why do you insist on wanting to take me to Mexico City [Tenochtitlan]? See that your work is in vain and I will not arrive, nor is it my will; but since you are so stubborn, I hope that I will go as far as I can, it may seem, for your evil…” Then, the people once again insisted on carrying the stone forward and, without explanation, “…the stone moved with such ease that they hardly felt any work in it…and the stone moved so easily that it seemed like twenty Indians were carrying it.” Thereafter, the stone was carried very rapidly toward Tenochtitlan, “with so much joy.”30 

 

As the stone approached Tenochtitlan, “Montezuma was notified, and he ordered everyone in the city to come out to welcome her with many roses and incense and decorate her with them and celebrate her with everything they could.” Upon arriving at the San Anton irrigation canal, Montezuma ordered a bridge to be built over the water. However, the bridge apparently was not strong enough to hold the weight of the stone, and halfway across the bridge, the stone, “…with a huge roar and explosion, broke all the beams of it and fell into the ditch…” The canal was very deep and the stone, “…carried behind it a large number of Indians who exploded holding onto the ropes, and he attacked and killed all of them and wounded others, very badly injured and crippled.” “When the men saw this, they were all very scared, and [recalled] what the stone had said, that it was not going to reach Mexico, had come true...” A search was conducted for the stone in the canal, without success. The stone was gone, it had returned to its original quarry site. There it sat where, “…it used to be, all covered in paper and full of those sacrifices that had been made on it, and full of ropes, in the same way that it had been.”31

 

The question now is, how was the stone actually moved with such ease after several unsuccessful attempts to drag it with ropes that broke? Chapter 66 never mentions a wagon or wheels — as shown in the illustration at the beginning of the chapter. Durán did not discuss the apparent discrepancy between the implied miraculous nature of the stone’s transport, as described in the chapter text, and the image of the stone being pulled on a wagon with four wheels, at the beginning of the chapter. Rather, in the footnotes, he discussed other miraculous cases of giant stones and statues being immovable or moving on their own, and other talking stones. Did Durán add the image at the beginning of the chapter as a possible “explanation” for the “miracle”? That does not seem likely given his comments in the footnotes. Is it possible that the lithographer, Jules Desportes, drew the cart and wheels on his own? We will probably never know.

 

However, reading between the lines, somewhat of a plausible explanation emerges, in my opinion. First, I believe that the basic story describes actual events: Montezuma wanted a huge stone for sacrifices and sent stonemasons out to find one. They originally tried dragging the stone — thinking that lots of ropes and lots of people would work, which probably had worked in the past with smaller rocks — but they didn’t. Then someone came up with an idea for rolling the stone, either with logs, as has been done in other cultures (such as Stonehenge and on Easter Island), or perhaps making massive, solid, wooden wheels, as shown in the figure. However, when they reached the canal system surrounding Tenochtitlan, they had to build a bridge, which was too weak to hold the massive stone. The bridge collapsed and the rock was lost in the canal — where it probably still resides. If the stone had been somehow magically floating or levitating, it would not have collapsed the bridge. It seems clear from the first part of the story that the Mexicans had no concept of rigging a wheeled vehicle to haul such a massive stone — they apparently simply tried to drag it, several times, without success — breaking several ropes in the process. The failure of the newly-made bridge over the San Anton irrigation canal suggests that: 1. They knew how to build bridges but 2. They did not know how to build bridges to support extremely heavy loads. Is it possible that they also knew about wheels, but not ones that could support such a massive stone?   

 

This story tells us that the Aztecs/Mexicans had very advanced technologies — already attested by their highly developed canal system and their capital city being built on an artificial island. However, this story tells of a failed attempt to push that technology to maximum weight limits. Initially, they did not have sufficiently heavy wheels to transport a massive stone (apparently dragging smaller stones with large numbers of people and ropes had worked for them in the past), but the challenge of the massive stone was met by the construction of some rolling system that could handle it — allowing it to be easily moved with very few people. However, when they reached the San Anton canal, they under-estimated the bridge strength needed for the large stone, and it ended up in the bottom of the canal.

 

It is my opinion that this is a story of a people in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica who already had knowledge of many technologies, including wheels and bridge building. If their wheels — except for those on toys — were made mainly of wood, we may never discover any archaeological evidence of such. However, as is well known in science, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It is also likely that, as with the wheeled “toys,” and as incredible as it may seem, the tradition of using wheels for much of anything had long gone before the founding of Tenochtitlan in 1325 or the rise of the Aztec empire in 1428. Perhaps the use, or even the idea, of wheels existed in only a few minds by the early 1500s, when the story of the stone apparently took place. Or, remarkably, perhaps one genius mind “invented” wheels for moving the stone while everyone else was breaking ropes trying to drag the massive block — according to their traditions — maybe that is why moving the stone with such ease appeared to them to be a miracle. After all, the Aztecs had not actually “lost” the technology and knowledge for making “wheels” as attested by the figure below from the Codex Magliabechiano (created during the mid-16th century). Strokes of “genius” often occur because someone applies a known object to an unknown cause. It is difficult for us, in our “modern, technological” age to comprehend anyone giving up a technology as valuable (to us) as the wheel; but that is apparently what happened in sub-Saharan Africa and in the Americas.




A victim of sacrificial gladiatorial combat, as portrayed in folio 30r of the Codex Magliabechiano (created during the mid-16th century). Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc. (famsi.org); now in public domain. Note that he is tied to a large wheel-like stone and his macuahuitl (sword/club) is covered with what appears to be feathers instead of obsidian.          

 

 

Trent Dee Stephens, PhD


References

1.     see my April 13 blog Post-Pleistocene, Pre-Columbian Horses in America

2.     Davis-Marks, Isis, ‘Miraculously’ Well-Preserved Ceremonial Chariot Found at Villa Outside of Pompeii, 2021; smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/archaeologists-find-unique-ceremonial-vehicle-near-pompeii-180977117; retrieved 18 June 2024

3.     Kuznetsov, P.F., The emergence of Bronze Age chariots in eastern Europe, Antiquity 80:638–645, 2006; Lindner, Stephan, Chariots in the Eurasian Steppe: a Bayesian approach to the emergence of horse-drawn transport in the early second millennium BC, Antiquity 94:361–380, 2020.

4.     Morillo, Stephen, Jeremy Black, and Paul LococoWar In World History: Society, Technology, and War from Ancient Times to the Present, Volume 1, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, Columbus, OH, 2008

5.     Köpp-Junk, Heidi, Wagons and Carts and Their Significance in Ancient Egypt, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 9:14, 2016

7.     James, Frances W., Stone Knobs and Chariot Tracks, Expedition Magazine 16, no. 3 (May, 1974); penn.museum/sites/expedition/stone-knobs-and-chariot-tracks; retrieved 18 June 2024;

8.     Dunn, Jimmy, The Chariot in Egyptian Warfare; touregypt.net/featurestories/chariots; retrieved 18 June 2024

10.  James, 1974

11.  Law, Robin, Wheeled transport in pre-colonial West Africa, Africa, 50:249–254, 1980; Austen, Ralph A., Introduction to the Sahara: From Desert Barrier to Global Highway, Trans-Saharan Africa in World History, Vol. 48, Oxford University Press, 2010, p. 12; Campbell, Alec and Robbins, Lawrence, Tsodilo Hill, Botswana, Adoranten 40, 43, 2009; Fage, John and Tordoff, William, The origins of African society, A History of Africa. Routledge, 2013, p. 19; Bulliet, Richard W., Why Invent the Wheel? The Wheel: Inventions and Reinventions, Columbia University Press, 2016, pp. 40–41.

12.  Law, 1980 

13.  Coulson, David, and Campbell, Alec, Rock Art of the Tassili in Ajjer, Algeria, Adoranten, 30, 35–36, 2010; Anderson, Helen, Chariots in Saharan rock art: An aesthetic and cognitive review, Journal of Social Archaeology, 16:289-294, 2016

14.  Mattingly, David, Kingdom of the Sands, Archaeology 57, March/April 2004

15.  Law, R.C.C., The Garamantes and Trans-Saharan Enterprise in Classical Times, The Journal of African History, 8:181-200, 1967

16.  Law, 1980

17.  Metcalf, Tom, 3,000-year-old untouched burial of a ‘charioteer’ discovered in Siberia; Live Science, 2023; livescience.com/archaeology/3000-year-old-untouched-burial-of-charioteer-discovered-in-siberia; retrieved 18 June 2024

18.  Heyworth, Robin, Mesoamerican Wheeled Toys, 2014; uncoveredhistory.com/mesoamerica/wheeled-toys; retrieved 17 June 2024

19.  Urcid, Javier, The Concept of the Wheel in Ancient Mesoamerica; extended, English language version of the original Spanish article written by Professor Urcid in Arqueología Mexicana (Sep-Oct 2017); mexicolore.co.uk/aztecs/home/the-concept-of-the-wheel-in-ancient-mesoamerica; retrieved 23 June 2024

20.  Ibid

21.  History of the Indies of New Spain and islands of Tierra Firme, Volume I, by Diego Durán, 1579; Original publication: México, Imp. de JM Andrade and F. Escalante, 1867; José F. Ramirez publishes it with an atlas of prints, notes and illustrations; Alicante: Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library, 2005; Work digitized by Unidixital in the América Library of the University of Santiago de Compostela; Language: Spanish; HTML format; p. 54; www-cervantesvirtual-com.translate.goog/obra-visor/historia-de-las-indias-de-nueva-espana-y-islas-de-tierra-firme-tomo-i--0/html/?_x_tr_sl=es&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=sc; google.com/books/edition/The_History_of_the_Indies_of_New_Spain/193tKPdM-ykC?hl=en&gbpv=1; retrieved 27 June 2024

24.  Durán, Diego, Historia de las Indias de Nueva España y islas de Tierra Firme, Atlas, Chapter 5 and figure; archive.org/details/gri_33125012784209/page/n9/mode/2up, p. 10; retrieved 27 June 2024

25.  Durán, 1579, Chapter III; see also Durán, Diego, The History of the Indies of New Spain, trans. Doris Heyden (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994): 20–22; jasoncdyck.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/duran-diego_history-of-the-indies.pdf; retrieved 17 June 2024

26.  Tena, Rafael, trans., Anales de Tlatelolco [Annals of Tlatelolco] (in Spanish and Nāhuatl), D. F.: Conaculta, México, 2004 [1528]. p. 99

28.  Durán, Diego, Historia de las Indias de Nueva España y islas de Tierra Firme; p. 507 dn790007.ca.archive.org/0/items/historiadelasind01dur/historiadelasind01dur.pdf; retrieved 26 June 2024

29.  Durán, p. 508

30.  Durán, p. 510

31.  Durán, p. 512-513

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