The Mexican archaeologist and anthropologist Eduardo Matos Moctezuma is recognized with the 2022 Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences.
Founder of the Templo Mayor Project, he has promoted research that has made it possible to delve into the history of the Aztec empire and reconstruct the civilizations of Mexico and Mesoamerica.
The Spanish award jury highlighted the “intellectual rigor” of the 81-year-old researcher. His outreach work is also important with more than five hundred publications on his archaeological finds and several programs in Mexican museums.
With a doctorate from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Matos Moctezuma discovered the Templo Mayor in the late 1970s. A huge archaeological site of ancient Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztec empire today Mexico City.
The archaeologist receives this award as a “lofty honor” after a life dedicated to “penetrating the past to bring it to the present” and know our own history.
The Social Sciences Award is the third of the eight Princess of Asturias Awards, the most prestigious in the Ibero-American world, which annually distinguish relevant people or institutions in fields ranging from scientific research to sports and literature.
So far in the 2022 edition, the Arts Award, for the flamenco artists Carmen Linares and María Pagésand that of Communication and Humanities, for the Polish journalist Adam Michnik, a prominent defender of human rights and a fundamental figure in the recovery of democracy in his country.
Established in 1981, the prizes are endowed, in addition to 50,000 euros, with a sculpture created by the late Catalan artist Joan Miró. The awards owe her name to the title of the heir to the throne of Spain, Princess Leonor, and are delivered by her and by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia in October in a solemn ceremony in Oviedo, the capital of Asturias.