24 Sept-24 Jan 2010. The fourth and last in the series on the lives of great rulers organised by the British Museum. Artefacts from the empire of the last great Aztec despot, who reigned from 1502 to 1520 over an area that stretched from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico, which roughly corresponds to modern day Mexico. The exhibition explores Aztec (Mexica) civilisation during the reign of its last elected ruler. Some of the works on show, including a massive stone throne and numerous works commissioned by Mactezuma, have never been seen in the UK before.
Moctezuma, who established all the trappings of a violent and strongly centralised administration, was also a formidable general. He was finally vanquished by the better equipped Spanish army led by Hernando Cortes and by the devastating new diseases brought from Europe by the invaders. The violent death of Moctezuma also saw the demise of the Aztec civilisation and the rise of Christianity throughout the central and southern American continent. There are lectures, discussions, workshops, films and family events for children to accompany the exhibition. Sat-Wed 10.00-17.30, Thurs and Fri 10.00-20.30.