A Jesuit church from the 18th century allows to know aspects of colonial Mexico

A Jesuit church from the 18th century allows to know aspects of colonial Mexico


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Five years ago they found 20 mummies under an ancient temple of the Society of Jesus in Mexico. Archaeologist Francisco Montoya Mar declared that this discovery is a ‘window’ to the history of the city of Zacatecas in the 18th century.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History stated in a statement that the study of these remains is a great opportunity to know the life of different sectors and its course from colonial times to independent Mexico.

In one of the burials, on the 14th, the analysis and reflections induced a contradiction between the archaeological and historical data. A rich, silk-upholstered casket, decorated with gold ribbons and riveted with gold-plated studs, was originally placed with the lid turned to the ground and not towards the surface.

Inside that coffin were the remains of Luis Rivero, who died at the age of five, a victim of scarlet fever in May 1844, which is confirmed by some lira and an elegy that the father of the minor of the same name and his uncle, Gerardo García Rojas, left as evidence of your regret.

Montoya, professor and researcher at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, indicated that the lyres and the elegy are testament to the mentality of the time and of the ills that afflicted the population of the time.

The burials have not been dated, except for one that is known with certainty that dates from the Jesuit occupation. This is the one associated with the number seven and corresponds to a man between 70 and 75 years of age, most likely a Jesuit priest because he was dressed in the habit of the order, a rough black cloth cassock riveted with 33 buttons, a figure that refers to the age when Jesus Christ died.

Most burials presented modest characteristics, and the coffins and clothing with which the remains were wrapped were simple. Montoya believes that they were buried there because of the friendship they maintained with the Jesuits.

In relation to Santo Domingo Temple, archaeologists realized that the current building did not correspond to the original construction. The old church dates from 1616 and the one that is now observed began to be built in 1746, being consecrated in 1750. The Jesuits used it for 17 years, until the religious order was expelled from the Hispanic territories in 1767, according to the specialists.

The church was empty for two decades until the Dominicans occupied it. For them it is better known as the Temple of Santo Domingo, one of the most precious buildings in the city of Zacatecas.


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