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Fellow Publication: La matanza en Cholula

The Cholula massacre in October, 1519, was one of the defining incidents in Hernan Cortes' conquest of the Aztec empire. This volume, published by the municipality of San Andres Cholula and edited by Julio Glockner, presents several prominent accounts of the Massacre, including Cortes' own observations.

Cholula was an independent polity on the edge of the Aztec heartland, but was strategically positioned on the route between the Gulf Coast and the Basin of Mexico. Although his army (including indigenous allies) was initially welcomed into the religious centre, the Spanish attacked and killed thousands of inhabitants. This is one of the most thoroughly documented battles of the Conquest, with multiple interpretations documented by eyewitnesses and other early chroniclers.  

Another chapter is by University of Calgary Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology, Dr. Geoffrey McCafferty, who contributed "La matanza en Cholula: crónicas de facciones y la arqueología sobre la conquista española." This article critically evaluated a dozen different accounts, including 16th century depictions in indigenous style, to evaluate the factional distinctions on the reporting. It also includes archaeological evidence of over 600 skeletons, presumed to be victims of the attack. One of the most interesting aspects of this study was the interpretation of the role that Malintzin, the native princess who advised Cortes during his invasion, played in the Massacre.