Murals at Tetitla, one of the many housing complexes located around the ceremonial center of Teotihuacan. Most of its rooms are elaborately painted, its murals portraying different themes related to the cosmos and religion in ancient Teotihuacan.

Murals at Tetitla, one of the many housing complexes located around the ceremonial center of Teotihuacan. Most of its rooms are elaborately painted, its murals portraying different themes related to the cosmos and religion in ancient Teotihuacan.

 In this picture Tlaloc, Thunderbolt God, faces front and grasps the base of his Thunderbolt-Spear. His partly shown headdress has the characteristic elements of this water deity, a mask with eye adornments and ear plugs. Teeth and fangs are slightly visible in his half-spread mouths from which hangs an open water-lily with seed-pods.  

In this picture Tlaloc, Thunderbolt God, faces front and grasps the base of his Thunderbolt-Spear. His partly shown headdress has the characteristic elements of this water deity, a mask with eye adornments and ear plugs. Teeth and fangs are slightly visible in his half-spread mouths from which hangs an open water-lily with seed-pods.  

 This fragment shows three main images - birds, marine snails and "speech balloons". The birds pictured in profile, are perched on marine-snails musical instruments, complete with mouthpieces. To judge from the presence of speech balloons, the snails are producing sound. Two of the figures face each other.

This fragment shows three main images - birds, marine snails and "speech balloons". The birds pictured in profile, are perched on marine-snails musical instruments, complete with mouthpieces. To judge from the presence of speech balloons, the snails are producing sound. Two of the figures face each other.

 There are two designs which combine and alternate in these murals. One of them represents a mouth showing teeth from which arise two speech balloons indicating a word, chant or prayer. The other image represents two bivalve sea shells embellished with drops, symbolic elements, representing water and fertility.

There are two designs which combine and alternate in these murals. One of them represents a mouth showing teeth from which arise two speech balloons indicating a word, chant or prayer. The other image represents two bivalve sea shells embellished with drops, symbolic elements, representing water and fertility.

 Murals with eagles. Found on the wall of a portico, a room and a corridor. The images represent a symbolic meaning, possibly associated to certain social groups which made use of the temples.

Murals with eagles. Found on the wall of a portico, a room and a corridor. The images represent a symbolic meaning, possibly associated to certain social groups which made use of the temples.

 Murals with  canines. Painted on the walls of a portico and inside a room, one can observe the body of an animal in sitting position. Seen in profile, one distinguishes the canine's head with the mouth partially open, showing its teeth. a speech virgule comes out of the mouth and rolls downward.

Murals with  canines. Painted on the walls of a portico and inside a room, one can observe the body of an animal in sitting position. Seen in profile, one distinguishes the canine's head with the mouth partially open, showing its teeth. a speech virgule comes out of the mouth and rolls downward.

 Courtyard at Tetitla with a small altar in the middle and temples around. 

Courtyard at Tetitla with a small altar in the middle and temples around. 

 Temple with the Jade Goddess or Green Tlaloc in Tetitla. 

Temple with the Jade Goddess or Green Tlaloc in Tetitla. 

 The Goddess or Green Tlaloc. Human individuals positioned on a pedestal or on a opulently adorned throne. Each one has a lavish headdress and wears  abounding necklaces, a mask and a dress. One can observe her outstretched hands with the fingers spread out. It is identified as a feminine deity, although he gender has not been clearly determined. This deity is associated with corn, earth, fertility and vegetation, given that these are seeds, beads made of precious green stone, shells, figurines and other objects in the water that flows from her hands.  

The Goddess or Green Tlaloc. Human individuals positioned on a pedestal or on a opulently adorned throne. Each one has a lavish headdress and wears  abounding necklaces, a mask and a dress. One can observe her outstretched hands with the fingers spread out. It is identified as a feminine deity, although he gender has not been clearly determined. This deity is associated with corn, earth, fertility and vegetation, given that these are seeds, beads made of precious green stone, shells, figurines and other objects in the water that flows from her hands.  

 Architectural design. On the lower part of this building, we can see an image with geometric shapes which has been interpreted as the sketch of a temple. One can distinguish the columns inside a wide portico as well as the roof with its battlement or finished touch, very similar to the ones that decorate the "patio de los Pilares" inside the temple of Quetzalpapalotl. The Teotihuacan architects must have used schematic sketches and models to design their buildings.

Architectural design. On the lower part of this building, we can see an image with geometric shapes which has been interpreted as the sketch of a temple. One can distinguish the columns inside a wide portico as well as the roof with its battlement or finished touch, very similar to the ones that decorate the "patio de los Pilares" inside the temple of Quetzalpapalotl. The Teotihuacan architects must have used schematic sketches and models to design their buildings.

 Overview of the temple with murals of felines bearing feather headdress in Tetitla. 

Overview of the temple with murals of felines bearing feather headdress in Tetitla. 

 Murals with felines bearing feather headdress. Six orange felines with their stomachs resting on a bench are seen on a temple 'slope'. They bear an elaborate headdress with large feathers held by headband which is decorated with triangles and placed behind the ears. The open mouth shows large fangs and in front of these we see figures with three lobsters and red drops, which are interpreted as bleeding hearts. This allegory may indicate that the cat as deity, was given hearts to eat. The murals are delimited by a border decorated with triangles and foot prints.

Murals with felines bearing feather headdress. Six orange felines with their stomachs resting on a bench are seen on a temple 'slope'. They bear an elaborate headdress with large feathers held by headband which is decorated with triangles and placed behind the ears. The open mouth shows large fangs and in front of these we see figures with three lobsters and red drops, which are interpreted as bleeding hearts. This allegory may indicate that the cat as deity, was given hearts to eat. The murals are delimited by a border decorated with triangles and foot prints.

 Fisherman or divers. The scene consists of a diver taking a shell in one hand and with the other hand holding a net to carry it in. This is one of the few images that simulate movement: the swimmer moves with one hand raised and the other one lowered amid diagonal and horizontal water ripples. Band with "water eyes" can be seen on the  band worn between the head and the arms. It is likely that two types of water are represented: deep and shallow water.

Fisherman or divers. The scene consists of a diver taking a shell in one hand and with the other hand holding a net to carry it in. This is one of the few images that simulate movement: the swimmer moves with one hand raised and the other one lowered amid diagonal and horizontal water ripples. Band with "water eyes" can be seen on the  band worn between the head and the arms. It is likely that two types of water are represented: deep and shallow water.

 A small plaza in Atetelco with a reconstructed central altar and a temple on top. This temple, or niche, was decorated with snakes  and other warlike iconographic motifs.

A small plaza in Atetelco with a reconstructed central altar and a temple on top. This temple, or niche, was decorated with snakes  and other warlike iconographic motifs.

 Patio Blanco. This is the complex's earliest section, dating from about 300-400 A.D. It has a central courtyard and is clearly marked off by tree temples. The walls of these temples have been almost entirely reconstructed in order to preserve the murals painted on them. As a result, visitors are also given a close approximation of the size of the temples, on whose portico walls, jaguars, coyotes and priests are displayed in procession, each mural framed by symbolic motifs.

Patio Blanco. This is the complex's earliest section, dating from about 300-400 A.D. It has a central courtyard and is clearly marked off by tree temples. The walls of these temples have been almost entirely reconstructed in order to preserve the murals painted on them. As a result, visitors are also given a close approximation of the size of the temples, on whose portico walls, jaguars, coyotes and priests are displayed in procession, each mural framed by symbolic motifs.

 Murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

Murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

 Murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

Murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

 Patio Blanco. This is the complex's earliest section, dating from about 300-400 A.D. It has a central courtyard and is clearly marked off by tree temples. The walls of these temples have been almost entirely reconstructed in order to preserve the murals painted on them. As a result, visitors are also given a close approximation of the size of the temples, on whose portico walls, jaguars, coyotes and priests are displayed in procession, each mural framed by symbolic motifs.

Patio Blanco. This is the complex's earliest section, dating from about 300-400 A.D. It has a central courtyard and is clearly marked off by tree temples. The walls of these temples have been almost entirely reconstructed in order to preserve the murals painted on them. As a result, visitors are also given a close approximation of the size of the temples, on whose portico walls, jaguars, coyotes and priests are displayed in procession, each mural framed by symbolic motifs.

 View into one of the temples with murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

View into one of the temples with murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

 View into one of the temples with murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

View into one of the temples with murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

 Murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

Murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

 Murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

Murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

 Murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

Murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

 Murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

Murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

 View into one of the temples with murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

View into one of the temples with murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

 Murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.

Murals in Atetelco, one of the many housing complexes near Teotihuacan.