Mexico City – The National Institute of Anthropology and History, or INAH, has published in Mexico a facsimile edition of the Codex Colombino, dating back to the 14th or early 15th century, to put it within reach of the public.
The facsimile is complemented by research that sheds new light on the 11th-century Mixtec ruler Eight Deer Jaguar Claw, a central figure in this pictographic document, the only one of pre-Columbian origin preserved in Mexico, INAH said Friday in a communique.
The research, led by Manuel A. Hermann Lejarazu, complements previous studies of the document, such as those done in 1912 by the Englishman James Cooper Clark and in the 1960s by archaeologist Alfonso Caso.
The Codex Colombino, made up of 24 pages - which placed end to end would be over 6 meters (20 feet) long - is kept at the National Library of Anthropology and History.
The document chronicles the exploits of the ruler Eight Deer Jaguar Claw, who was born in 1063 A.D. in the town of Tilantongo in the Upper Mixtec area of what today is the southeastern state of Oaxaca, and who consolidated his power around 1101 A.D.
Eight Deer Jaguar Claw has been identified as the architect and founder of the Tututepec Empire in the coastal Mixtec area that centuries later rivaled the Aztec Empire.
According to Hermann Lejarazu, pre-Columbian Mixtecs considered the lineage and legitimacy of their rulers so important that this history of the royalty was able to outlast the days of the Spanish conquest.
The expert extracted data that led him to propose new areas under the Eight Deer's influence and that appear registered as pictographs in the Codex Colombino, which also abounds in the ritual paraphernalia surrounding this ruler and his court.
Lejarazu also discovered in the document two priests seen helping Eight Deer reach a godly sphere, a divine plane where his earthly power was legitimized.