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Eduardo Matos Moctezuma Lecture Series, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Eduardo Matos Moctezuma Lecture Series, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA – April 2018.  

Harvard University is honored to welcome Professor Eduardo Matos Moctezuma on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 to deliver the lecture, “Eduardo Matos Moctezuma Discovers Himself: Excavations of the Great Aztec Temple,” at 6 pm at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Harvard University.

LIVESTREAM: The Eduardo Matos Moctezuma lecture will be hosted by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology A livestream will be available on the Facebook page of the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture   

Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2018
Pacific Standard Time  3:00pm - 5:00pm
Central Daylight Time  5:00pm - 7:00pm
Eastern Standard Time  6:00pm - 8:00pm

Eduardo Matos Moctezuma Lecture Series:

This is the first lecture at Harvard University as part of the five-year Eduardo Matos Moctezuma Lecture Series; the inaugural lecture in the series was delivered at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City this past October 2017. With the Eduardo Matos Moctezuma Lecture Series, Harvard seeks to celebrate the excellence of Mexican archaeology and history and aims to build and strengthen existing educational and research ties with Mexico. In subsequent years, other world-renowned experts on pre-Hispanic Mexico will be chosen to deliver the Matos Moctezuma lectures in Mexico City in the fall and at Harvard in the spring.

Eduardo Matos Moctezuma is considered a national treasure of Mexico and Professor Emeritus at the Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia (ENAH) in Mexico City. He received a master’s degree in Anthropological Sciences from ENAH and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Beginning in 1978, Professor Matos coordinated the Templo Mayor Project, which revolutionized understanding of the religious and political character of the Aztec empire. He has taught at ENAH since 1968 and also teaches at the Escuela de Restauración, Conservación y Museografía “Manuel Castillo Negrete.” He has been honored by universities and governments in Latin America, Asia, and Europe.  Matos has given over 1000 public lectures, and among his most prominent books are Muerte a filo de obsidianaLife and Death in the Templo MayorTeotihuacan: The City of GodsThe AztecsEl Templo Mayor de TenochtitlanLa casa prehispánicaLas piedras negadas; and Estudios mexicas.

George Yepes - Caballero Águila/Eagle Warrior painting unveiling:

On April 11, 2018, Dean David Hempton of the Harvard Divinity School; Professor Davíd Carrasco; and Professor Eduardo Matos Moctezuma; will unveil a painting by celebrated Mexican-American artist George Yepes, commissioned to honor Professor Eduardo Matos Moctezuma and symbolize the lecture series. The painting, “Caballero Águila,” or “Eagle Warrior,” is inspired by images related to Professor Matos’ work at the Templo Mayor. The original painting was acquired by Harvard Divinity School and will be unveiled at 2 pm April 11th during a ceremony featuring George Yepes himself at Harvard Divinity School’s Andover Hall, 45 Francis Avenue, Harvard University.

Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University:

“Last year the Divinity School marked the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Next year (2019) the School will remember an even more significant 500th anniversary for the future of religion and culture in the Americas, namely the beginning of the beginning of the ‘great encuentro’ between the Spaniards and the Aztecs in Mexico,” said Harvard Divinity School Dean David N. Hempton. “This painting symbolizes the scientific and cultural findings that Eduardo Matos Moctezuma has painstakingly uncovered, which has led to the development of new knowledge about a flourishing Aztec civilization before the arrival of the Spanish in 1519. We are excited and honored to have it here on display at Harvard Divinity School.  George Yepes’ brilliant work, in addition to the inauguration of an important new lecture series, celebrates our growing ties to Mexico and Latino America.  Having this beautiful painting here reminds us about the importance of the connections we are making between our School and Mexican cultural institutions.”


The Eduardo Matos Moctezuma Lecture Series is made possible thanks to the generosity of José Antonio Alonso Espinosa and the initiative of Davíd Carrasco, Neil L. Rudenstine Professor for the Study of Latin America at the Department of Anthropology and Harvard Divinity School. This is the first such series to be named after a Mexican in Harvard’s nearly 400-year history. It is the product of almost four decades of close collaboration between Professors Matos and Carrasco on the excavation and research projects surrounding the Templo Mayor at Tenochtitlan. The Lecture Series comes out of collaboration among the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies offices in Cambridge and Mexico City, the Harvard Divinity School, and the Moses Mesoamerican Archive and Research Project.

Ocarinas of the Americas exhibit:

As a prelude to Professor Matos Moctezuma’s lecture, program attendees are invited to a special presentation on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 5 pm in the Ocarinas of the Americas exhibit, located on the 3rd floor of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. Musician and anthropologist José Cuellar, who curated the exhibit of these ocarinas, will speak about this collection of indigenous instruments that featured prominently in rituals of pre-Hispanic societies, including the Aztecs and Maya. The exhibit will be on display and open to the public until June 2018.

Caballero Águila/Eagle Warrior painting:

This painting of the Aztec Eagle Warrior honors the excellence of Eduardo Matos Moctezuma and his rise to the peak of Mexican archaeological achievements. The painting is based on images related to Professor Matos’ work at the Templo Mayor, as conceived by the celebrated Mexican American artist George Yepes.  The combination of archaeologist Eduardo Matos Montezuma with the Coyolxauhqui stone symbolizes the origin of the decades-long excavation of the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan beginning in 1979. At the center of the composition, the Sun God, dressed as an elite Eagle Warrior, rises victorious above the cityscape of Tenochtitlan and the two shrines to the Rain and Sun Gods atop the Great Aztec Temple. Pulling the composition together is the ancient and modern national La Bandera Tricolor, with the ancient Aztec prophecy of the Eagle and Serpent Coat of Arms, eclipsed by the emblazoned Eagle Warrior. 

Young Tintoretto at Harvard:
“In 1998, when George Yepes painted the mural “Tikkun Olam” To Repair the World, I was reminded of Jacopo Robusti Tintoretto (1518 - 1594, Venice, Italy) and that great painters have the gift of pulling down from heaven the designs which God has for humans, so that people can discover through art what they can’t find in words. Little did I know that Yepes is in touch, through his brush strokes, with the Aztec Divinities as well as Christian spirits.  Gazing at this painting of the Caballero Águila, one can see the cosmic design of Tenochtitlan and, if you listen closely, hear the rhythm of wings, the cry of the eagle, and the voices of our ancestors.”

Dr. David Carrasco, Professor - Historian of Religions
Editor-in-Chief, Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures
Director, Moses Mesoamerican Archive and Research Project
Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America
Divinity School - Harvard University