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The Macuahuitl From SOTTR


Screenshot from Shadow of the Tomb Raider taken by Okh Eshivar 2019

Welcome Tomb Raider fans!

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider we see a lot of Trinity guards loyal to the cult of Kukulcan. If you notice the guard in this screenshot from Shadow of the Tomb Raider he is holding an Aztec sword called a Macuahuitl. These are an excellent example of the actual archaeological elements used in this game.

Throughout the gameplay we see a great mix of cultures. There are artefacts galore from the Aztec, Maya, Inca, Chachpoya, Moche and Chimu to name a few. Also, if you look on my website and find the category “Archaeology” it will lead you into many archaeological articles that I have written about all of the Tomb Raider games with a substantial amount from Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

What Exactly Is A Macuahuitl?

These are an ancient Mesoamerican sword. The Aztecs, in this case, created a very effective weapon that was so sharp it could sever a horses head from its body. These mighty instruments of war were crafted from wood and obsidian. Obsidian when sharpened becomes razor-edged and packs a lot of strength. Those sharp, black edges are what we see when glancing at this rectangular weapon with a wooden base.

 

The Macuahuitl in history…

The Aztecs were fierce warriors, and the macuahuitl was their most proficient weapon, and it made them dominant on the battlefield. Cortes and his men witnessed their bloodthirsty power when they arrived in Central America.

They had a well thought out strategy in battle. Because the Macuahuitl was most effective in close range battle, the warriors that used them would wait to come forward until the archers and slingers were closer to the enemy. These weapons were over three feet long, giving the user a fearsome advantage.

The standard amount of blades on each side was eight razor-sharp edges ready to destroy the enemy.

Unfortunately, archaeologists have not discovered any original macuahuitl in ancient culture that survived. However, there are many recreations according to some illustrations from a16th century Florentine Codex.

The last macuahuitl was destroyed in a fire in Real Armeria de Madrid. This is a tragedy in history.

Here are a few examples from a codex and a recreation. 

A-modern-recreations-of-a-ceremonial-macuahuitl-made-by-Shai-Azoulai-Author-Zuchinni-one
Aztec-warriors-as-shown-in-the-16th-century-Florentine-Codex-Vol-IX-Each-warrior-is-brandishing-a-maquahuitl
Drawing-a-part-of-the-Catalog-of-the-Royal-Armoury-of-Madrid-by-the-medievalist-Achille-Jubinal-in-the-19th-century-original-specimen-was-destroyed-by-a-fire-in-1884

Thank you for viewing this brief look into a historical artefact from SOTTR! There is more to come!

Like Lara Explore the World!

~Emma!

About Emma (M.Harris) (202 Articles)
I am a student of Egyptology and Mesoamerica. I am a writer and a Tomb Raider franchise ambassador sponsored by Crystal Dynamics and sent to E3 in 2018. My site is an award-winning Official Tomb Raider site from the Crystal Dynamics official fansite program, and I have been an official site since 2015. I am happy to say that my website has appeared in the game credits for "Rise of the Tomb Raider" as well as "Shadow of the Tomb Raider" I am a huge Tomb Raider fan that has a big taste for world travel and a natural sense for exploration and languages which is reflected through the vast amount of archaeology articles and artwork throughout my website. Thank you for visiting and bookmark my site. I update several times a month. This is Emma AKA (M. Harris) signing off and exploring new news about archaeology, art, languages, legends and much more from the real world and the world of Tomb Raider and Lady Lara Croft! Explore the World!

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