Figure of a Warrior

Figure of a Warrior

after 1325 (thermoluminescence date of casting core, 1345–1575)

Gold-silver-copper alloy (cast)

Overall: 11.2 x 6.1 cm (4 7/16 x 2 3/8 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1984.37

Did you know?

The calendar glyphs on the figure's back read "2 Rabbit, 3 Water."


The elite status of this warrior, who holds a dartthrower, darts, and a shield, is revealed by the gold from which he is made as well as his jewelry and sandals. Military accomplishment was prized by the Aztecs, whose imperial expansion was fueled by ambition as well as their belief that they were chosen to uphold cosmic order through war. The purpose of the chest cavity is unclear; the figurine may have been worn as a pendant.

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