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*Curtis, Cave Painters reading, and movie, Cave of Forgotten Dreams:
-What are some surprises being
discovered in the art of Chauvet cave?
-Along with the date, how do they
change our understanding of progress in art through time?
-What is the evidence for man’s
relation to cave bears at Chauvet? How does the art relate to their presence?
-What kinds of techniques are
being used to study the cave and its art?
-What precautions are being used
to preserve the cave, while studying it?
- -The famous bear skull found carefully placed upon a rock is just as astonishing as the art because the arrangement has every appearance of being an altar. No other cave has a bear skull on a rock or a collection of bear skulls brought into a room. But the bones in the floor and cervices show a similarity of beliefs across a wide area and through many millennia.There are 6 human elements that all appear in the End Chamber. There has also been tiny ivory beads found and reindeers teeth that once was apart of a necklace.
- -The art is just as sophisticated as any of the art that appeared later, including that in Lascauz, which was painted 14,000 years after Chauvet.
- -Preserving the climate inside by only studying the cave for 2 weeks in May and October. Preserving the floor by installing metal grids. Not excavating the cave because that would only destroy it.
- -listing, recording, and reproducing all the art on the walls of Chauvet. The inventory, copying the art with making paintings and tracings.
1. When did Homo Sapiens appear on earth, according to the text?
Homo Sapiens appeared on earth by 150,000 BP
2. When did humans start making art, according to the text? When did they start making representational art?
Humans started making art in 40,000 BC. Representational images are seen in the archaeological record beginning about 38,000 BCE in Australia, Africa, and Europe.
3. What does Paleolithic mean? What was life like for people then?
The term Paleolithic comes from the Greek terms paleo-, “old,” and lithos, “stone”. During the Paleolithic, humans grouped together in small societies such as bands, and subsisted by gathering plants and hunting or scavenging wild animals. The Paleolithic is characterized by the use of knapped stonetools, although at the time humans also used wood andbone tools.
4. Which gender is most represented in Paleolithic figures? Which was more common --- humans or animals?
Most Paleolithic human images show women. Animals were more common in Paleolithic cave art.
5. How were figures depicted in 2-D art (frontal or profile)? What term is used?
Their most characteristic features have been emphasized. Horns, eyes, and hooves are shown as seen from the front, yet heads and bodies are rendered in a profile in a system known as composite pose. Even when their poses are exaggerated or distorted, the animals are full of life and energy, and the accuracy in the drawing of their silhouettes, or outlines, is remarkable.
6. What is most important about Altamira, Spain? What was the initial public reaction to discoveries there?
The cave paintings at Altamira, near Santander in the Cantabrian Mountains in Spain, were the first to be discovered by people in modern times, and recongnized by some as extremely old- in 1879. Called a modern fraud until 1902.
7. What are 4 theories about the purposes of cave paintings? What are problems with 2? Be complete, use terms
1. Art for art’s sake- to represent the world? Promblems: Does not really represent the world. Very selective images- almost no humans, no plants, etc. Many paintings are abstract, no subject. Often painted in very inaccessible areas. Life was hard- not much free time. 2. To help with hunting? Sympathetic magic. This was an early favored theory. Problem: Animals depicted are often NOT ones eaten. Bones in caves show diet of reindeer, wild boar, fish- not lion rhino. 3.It was proposed that the cave paintings might be products both of rites to strengthen clan bonds and of ceremonies to enhance the fertility of animals used for food. 4.Used in rituals by Shamans? People who go into a trance and connect with animal spirits- for healing or magical uses. Lastest theory…. The Chief theories about the purposes of cave paintings began with the idea that human beings have an inherent desire to decorate themselves and their surroundings, which found ready acceptance in the nineteenth century. Then in the early twentieth century it was believed that art has a social function and that aesthetics are culturally relative. It was proposed that the cave paintings might be products both of rites to strengthen clan bonds and of ceremonies to enhance the fertility of animals used for food. In 1903, French archaeologist Salomon Reinach suggested that cave paintings were expressions of sympathetic magic. Abbé Henri Breuil took these ideas further and concluded that caves were used as places of worship and were the settings for initiation rites. In the second half of the twentieth century, scholars rejected these ideas and based their interpretations on rigorous scientific methods and current social theory. André Leroi-Gourhan and Annette Laming-Emperaire, for example, dismissed the sympathetic magic theory because statistical analysis of debris from human settlements revealed that the animals used most frequently for food were not the ones traditionally portrayed in caves. The fact that so much cave art is hidden deep in almost inaccessible parts of caves, suggested to archaeologist Steve Mithen that this knowledge was intended for a privileged group and that certain individuals or groups were excluded from acquiring that knowledge. South African rock-art expert David Lewis-Williams suggests a different interpretation. Using a deep comparative knowledge of art made by hunter-gatherer communities that are still in existence, Lewis-Williams has argued that Upper Paleolithic cave art is best understood in terms of shamanism: the belief that certain people (shamans) can travel outside of their bodies in order to mediate between the worlds of the living and the spirits. Traveling under the ground as a spirit, particularly within caves, or conceptually within the stonewalls of the cave, Upper Paleolithic shamans would have participated in ceremonies that involved hallucinations. Images conceived during the trancelike state would likely combine recognizable (the animals) and abstract (the non-representational) symbols. In addition, Lewis-Williams interprets the stenciled human handprints found on the cave walls alongside the other marks as traces of the nonshaman participants in the ritual reaching towards and connecting with the shaman spirits traveling within the rock.
9. Know about Stonehenge- its form, relation to other sites nearby, and purposes- with evidence.
Built in stages over 1,000 years. Stage 1: Earthworks, Aubrey holes 3000 BC Burials within. Stage 2: Wood additions before 2500 BC Stage 3: Bluestones added 2500 BC 4 tons each, from 250 miles away (Bluestones brought from wales- for healing disease? An old local belief, still held today that attributes healing powers to springs arising in these hills) Stage 4: Sarsen Stones before 2000 BC 30 stones plus lintels, Trilithons at center up to 24 ft tall 50 tons 75 blocks of Sarsen sandstone from 20+ miles away. Later changes, additions Site abandoned by 1500 BC.
How big is the site of Stonehenge, including the stone ring?
The site of Stonehenge is 24 feet tall 97 feet wide. 106 feet in diameter?
What is the original proven theory of stonehenge and of what it was probably used for?
The original proven theory of what Stonehenge was probably used for was the site of ceremonies linked to death and burial.
How does the Heel-Stone support that theory? Explain.
Evidene for solar observance. From the center, the sun rises over the Heel stone on the summer solstice, June 21st. Some have ways to clculate lunar and stellar events through the stones.
10. Describe Parker Pearson’s new theory of Stonehenge’s function in the larger landscape, with other structures
around it- in the text and notes. Include specifics like terms. How did people use all of the mentioned structures
together in this theory? With what symbolism?
The latest excavations suggest Stonehenge formed part of a much larger ritual complex spread across the surrounding landscape. The newly found avenue at Durrington Walls connects the monument to the River Avon, which links to another avenue downstream, which leads to Stonehenge. Parker Pearson argues that the course of the river between the 2 ancient monuments symbolized the passage from life to the afterlife. Durrington Walls was used for feasts and rituals that celebrated life while Stonehenge was both a memorial and cemetery for the dead. Within Durrington: Woodhenge circle, connected by a ceremonial road to Stonehenge. Oriented to the Winter solistice- winter rituals for the living here; summer ones for the dead at Stonehenge? Feasting remains found here- 200 burials at Stonehenge. The settlements built near Stonehenge follow circular layouts, connecting them in plan to the ceremonial site. Unlike the more famous monument, however, these habitations were built of wood, in particular large posts and tree trunks. A mile from Stonehenge is one of thee sites, Durrington Walls, which was a large settlement (almost 1,500 feet across) surrounded by a ditch. Inside the site are a number of circles made not from stone but from wood; there are also many circular houses also made with wooden posts. The rubbish left behind at this and a similar site has given archaeologists insights into the inhabitants. Chemical analysis of animal bone debris, for example, indicates that the animals consumed came form great distances before they were slaughtered, and therefore that the people who stayed here had come from regions very far from the site. Significantly, both Stonehenge and Durrington Walls are connected to the Avon River by banked avenues. These connected the worlds of the living with the world of the dead. Neolithic people would have moved between these worlds as they walked the avenues, sometimes bringing the deceased to be buried or cremated, other times approaching the stone circle for ceremonies and rituals dedicated to the memories of the deceased and the very ancient ancestors. The meaning of Stonehenge therefore rests within an understanding of the larger landscape that contained not only other ritual sites but also the places of the living.
*The Berry site article- ancient Joara: What is important about the discovery at the Berry site near Morganton? Be
specific, use names and explain why it was important for both native Americans and Europeans.
- The Berry Site contains the ruins of the
- oldest European settlement in the United States. <first it's
- also the site of the ancient Mississippian town of Joara- need that too. It is a 12-acre site located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains
- near Morganton, North Carolina. During the time the Berry Site was built the
- French and Spanish were both trying to establish their own permanent presence
- on the colonial frontier. Although the Spanish were trying to establish a route
- to protect the silver mines located southwest of the Berry Site. The Spanish
- headed north to take advantage of Indian hospitality because they were
- dependent on the natives for food. According to Bandera’s accounts, in January
- 1567, Pardo arrived at a large native town at the foot of the Appalachian
- Mountains that the Spanish originally called Joara. OK- but this is
- their own name- not Spanish! Pardo then renamed it Cuenca, after his
- home, and Fort San Juan was built. But because of possible French attack Pardo
- returned to Santa Elena, the Spanish Capital of what is now Parris Island in
- South Carolina, leaving 30 soldiers behind. There were no accounts of the 30
- Spanish soldiers left behind at Fort San Juan for 18 months to help establish a
- Spanish foothold in the continents interior.
- The 5 structures that were found on the
- Berry Site have an overall pattern of Native Americans, but these structures
- are unusually large by Native standards. The buildings had a semi-subterranean
- structures with a belowground foundation from which wattle and daub walls arose
- showing more Native American influence. Although there was also evidence of
- Spanish influence, from one of the timbers from excavated structure 1 had a
- square cut notch that was used to join this element to other timbers. Scientist
- thinks that Natives built the 5 structures, but under the direction of the
- Some of the artifacts uncovered from the
- structure corresponded to the supplies listed in Bandera’s document, which were
- unlikely to have been used to trade with natives. The most significant artifact
- found was an iron scale giving a very good indication Spanish was occupying the
- buildings. The Spanish soldier’s diets, obtained by Native Americans, were corn
- and beans revealed through charred food remains. The Native Community and Fort
- San Juan had a unique relationship with native dominance while the Spanish
- soldiers depended heavily on native help. It was an economic relationship but
- also somewhat of a military alliance. There is evidence the soldiers wore out
- their welcome possibly continually demanding food, due to lack of supplies from
- Santa Elena. This could have been one of the factors, which led to the Natives
- attack on the fort, killing all but 1 soldier who managed to escape to Santa
- Elena. The Fort San Juan was burned to the ground, but it is inconclusive to
- whether the fort was burned during the attack or after.
* What are the issues about
actions after the industrial discovery at Nine Mile Canyon in 2002? What
is the outcome so far? What are arguments of both sides, & what attempt to
improve conditions may be making them worse? What
was the action that the Utah college student made against this outcome,
what resulted, and what is his final fate?
- Since 2002, the Bill Barrett Corporation, in cooperation with the BLM and private landowners, has been pursuing a natural gas exploration project on the West Tavaputs Plateau in and around the canyon. Bill Barrett Corporation has spent some $2 million on improving area roads, and the complete project, if approved as planned, could create as many as 1000 jobs. Government involvement in the project has been controversial, drawing complaints from conservation groups that not enough is being done to protect natural and cultural resources. Although there are many benefits to the exploration project, there are also many negative effects to the Nine Mile Canyon. The unprecedented levels of industrial truck traffic on Nine Mile’s main road are producing troublesome clouds of dust. The poorly maintained dirt road was not built to handle so much traffic, and it is torn up within a few passes by heavy trucks. The dust reduces visibility on the road, but it also settles on the rock art, obscuring it from view. Carbon County, which supervises the use of the road, has approved the application of magnesium chloride on the road as a dust abatement measure. The compound pulls moisture from the air to dampen dust, but it may be doing more harm than good. Once the dust dries, magnesium chloride drifts with it onto the rock walls and sticks there. It can crack the rock when it freezes in cold weather. According to a 2007 study commissioned by the BLM and paid for by Bill Barrett Corporation, the magnesium chloride will corrode the rock panels over time, further accelerating the rock art’s loss. Trying to clean the dust off the rock may damage it even more.
- The Bill Barrett Corporation has already spent $1 billion to drill 100 natural gas wells. It is also seeking government permission for 800 wells and a switch to year-round drilling. But critics say the company’s new media campaign is luring Utahns with false environmental promises. They company is using misleading advertising by focusing on families who are worrying about high energy cost, yet these ads don’t mention the fact that drilling is being done through an archaeological site, ultimately damaging artifacts. Bill Barrett Corporation has also expanded their ad campaign to KUER public radio where they describe the project as environmentally progressive. Other radio ads say, "Bill Barrett Corporation is committed to 'no net environmental impact' to the area. That will bring vital energy to America."
- Utah College Student, Time DeChristopher, was extremely against the developing of oil and gas because of the hidden costs of environmental damage, so much so he was determined to disrupt a federal auction of oil and gas leases. DeChristopher joined in on the bidding raising the prices for other bidders and also winning a dozen parcels himself costing almost $2 million. A federal agent escorted him out of the auction and began questioning him. DeChristopher told the agent, “That it was an act of civil disobedience because I felt this auction was a fraud against the American people and a threat to my future.” Seventy-seven of the leases sold that day were canceled, which included 11 won by DeChristopher. Even though many do not believe DeChristopher’s actions did not have any affect on delaying the auction he brought a lot of attention to the situation. On July 26th, after several delays, Tim was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison, 3 years of supervised probation and a $10,000 fine.
1. What are 2 date ranges for the arrival of humans in the Americas?
- The 2 date
- ranges for the arrival of humans in America are perhaps as early as 20,000 to
- 30,000 years, but definitely before 12,000 years ago.
2. What was the trio of native plants at the core of all ancient American diets?
The trio of native plants at the core of ancient American diets was corn, beans, and squash. Other plants and foods that were used were potatoes, tobacco, cacao, tomatoes, and avocados.
3. What cultural features accompanied the population growth that came from agriculture? What special inventions
arose in Central and South America
- features and inventions that accompanied the population growth that came from
- agriculture were the rise of hierarchical societies, the appearance of
- ceremonial centers and towns with monumental architecture, and the development
- of sculpture, ceramics, and other art. Special inventions that arose in Central
- and South America were the developing of writing, astronomy, a complex and
- accurate calendar, and a sophisticated system of mathematics. Central and South
- American peoples also had advanced metallurgy and produced exquisite gold,
- silver, and copper objects.
4. What are the dates for the Mississippian period
in eastern U.S., and what were its main features?
The dates of the Mississippian period in eastern United States were from 700-1550 CE. The main features were the widespread distribution of complex chiefdoms, both large and small, that proliferated throughout the region. The people of the Mississippian culture continued the mound-building tradition begun by Adena, Hopewell, and others.
5. What was the largest city in North America around 1000 AD? Where is it today? How many lived there?
How many mounds were there? Which is the largest? Describe it. What evidence of ancient astronomy is there?
The largest city in North America around 1000 AD was Cahokia. It was located in present day East St. Louis, Illinios. 20,000 people. 500+ mounds. The largest mound is Monks Mound covering +1000 long/ +15 acres with 25 cubic feet and originally 100 ft high. Astronomical observations- aligned with the sun= astronomical observatory at Cahokia, a 400 ft circle of evenly-spaced posts with alignment to summer and winter solstice.
6. What is a new theory about the meaning of the Serpent Mound, and what does the date of it have to do with that?
The new theory about the meaning of the mound based on carbon-14 dating has recently proposed dating the mound at about 1070 CE. This evokes the theory that perhaps the people who built it were responding the spectacular astronomical display of the Halley’s comet in 1066.
7. Where did the ancestral Pueblo Indians live- name the region, and list what 4 states meet there.
The ancestral Pueblo Indians lived in the Four Corners region, where present-day Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico meet.
8. What & where was the largest ‘apartment bldg’ in North America before the 19th c.?
The largest apartment building in North America before the 19th century was Pueblo Bonito, located in Chaco Canyon, Mexico. Chaco Canyon, is a New Mexico Canyon of about 30 miles with 9 great houses, or pueblos, it was an important part of Ancestral Puebloan civilization. Pueblo Bonito was one of the largest great houses, which was built in stages between 10th and13th centuries. Eventually, it comprised over 800 rooms in 4 or 5 stories arranged in a D shape.
9. When did people move away from there to
different places, and what new kinds of dwellings did they move to?
? No one knows for certain why the people of Chaco Canyon abandoned the site, the population declined during a severe drought in the 12th century, and building at Pueblo Bonito ceased around 1250. The Pueblo population of Chaco Canyon may have moved to the Rio Grande and Mogdion River Valleys. They built their new apartment like dwellings on ledges under sheltering cliffs. Difficult as it must have been to live high on canyon walls and farm the valley below, the cliff communities had the advantage of being relatively secure. The rock shelters in the cliffs, also acted as insulation, protecting the dwellings from extremes heat and cold. Like a modern apartment complex, the many rooms housed an entire community comfortably. Communal solidarity and responsibility became part of the heritage of the Pueblo peoples.
10. What was a kiva, what form does it take, and what specific ritual was it used for? What is a sipapu?
A kiva was a ceremonial enclosure, usually wholly or partly underground, used for ritual purposes by modern Pueblo peoples and Ancestral Puebloans. Kivas may be round or square, made of adobe or stone, and usually feature a hearth and a small indention in the floor behind it.Sipapu, a Hopi word, is a small hole or indentation in the floor of kivas used by the Ancient Pueblo Peoples and modern-day Puebloans. It symbolizes the portal through which their ancient ancestors first emerged to enter the present world.
11. Define/explain: Pictographs; Petroglyphs.
Rock art consists of pictographs, which are painted, and petroglyphs, which are pecked or engraved. While occurring in numerous distinctive styles, rock art images include humans, animals, and geometric figures, represented singly and in multi-figured compositions.
12. What technique was used at Horseshoe Canyon? How old may those images be? See class notes.
The technique used at the Great Gallery of Horseshoe Canyon was pictographs. Archeaologist have dated these paintings to as early as 1900 BCE and as recently as 300 CE. Rock art is very difficult to date precisely.
13. What rock art technique was used mostly at Nine Mile Canyon?
The majority of rock art in Nine Mile Canyon is in the form of pecked petroglyphs, and there are also many painted pictographs as well.
14. What ancient people are most responsible for what is at Nine Mile Canyon?
Most of the rock art was created by the Fremont culture and the Ute people. The Fremont people presence in Nine Mile has been dated at AD 950-1250. They practiced agriculture, growing corn and squash along the canyon bottom.
15. What discovery in 2002 has brought Nine Mile Canyon into the news?
- Discovery of natural gas sources in Nine Mile Canyone in 2002. Jim Felton, with the Bill Barrett Oil Corp., said,” There will be no net impacts. There will be temporary impacts, but at the conclusion of the project, they will all be remediated.Magnesium chloride is sprayed on the road as dust abatement- but it may be doing more harm than good- it drifts onto rocks and sticks, where it can crack the rock when it feezes. According to a 2007 study, magnesium chloride will corrode the rock panels over time, further accelerating the rock art’s lpss. Nine Mile Canyon became part of 375,000 acres of public land to be auctioned off at the end of the Bush administration by the BLM.Tim DeChristopher-
- In Bush era auction (2008), Utah student registered as a buyer of oil leases at Nine Mile Canyon- and successfully bid on 10 parcels worth $1.8 million- without having the money. Tim's action drew national attention to the fact that the Bush Administration spent its last days in office handing out a huge round of favors to the oil and gas industry. After investigating irregularities in the auction, the Obama Administration took many of the leases off the table, with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar criticizing the process as "a headlong rush“ to sell public land..Trying to clean the dust off the rock may damage it even more.”The discovery in 2002 that brought the canyon into the news was the discovery of rich natural gas deep beneath the Tavaputs Plateau has brought an influx of industrial truck traffic. The large amounts of fugitive dust produced by the trucks’ passage may be damaging the rock art. Public debate is ongoing about how best to balance energy development in the canyon against the preservation of its cultural resources
1. What is Mesoamerica, and what culture traits did early people here share?
- Ancient Mesoamerica encompasses the area from north of the
- valley of Mexico (the location of Mexico City) to present-day Belize, Honduras,
- and western Nicaragua in Central America. The region is one of great contrasts,
- ranging from tropical rainforest to semiarid mountains. The civilizations that
- arose in Mesoamerica varied, but they were linked by cultural similarities and
- trade. Among their shared features were a ballgame with religious and political
- significance, aspects of monumental building construction, and a complex system
- of multiple calendars including a 260-day divinatory cycle and a 365-day ritual
- and agricultural cycle. Many Mesoamerican societies were sharply divided into
- elite and commoner classes.
2. Who started the first major art style in Mesoamerica? Where exactly were they and when did they live?
The first major art style in Mesoamerica was that of the Olmec, emerged during the Formative/Preclassic period, beginning around 1500 BCE They had an empire in southern Mexico with 2 main capitals: first San Lorenzo, the later La Venta. Many of the key elements of Mesoamerican art, including monumental stone sculpture commemorating individual rulers, finely carved jades, elegant ceramics, and architectural elements such as pyramids, plazas, and ball courts, were first developed by the Olmecs.
3. Why are the Olmec called the ‘mother culture’ of Central America? Two important aspects.
Found other cultures that were influenced by them, and first civilization in Mesoamerica to have a writing system.
4. Describe 5 main features of Olmec culture, as listed on the screen in class.
Features of the Olmecs, shared later cultures: kingdoms with powerful rulers, pyramids and palaces, a sacred ball game with a hard rubber ball, shamanism (nature spirit priest, with jaguar imagery0, colossal stone statues, belief in caves as entries to the underworld, and extensive long distance trade (especially with jade).
5. What features, including of their art will carry on in later Mesoamerican cultures? What does their trade show?
Many key elements of Mesoamerican art, including monumental stone sculpture commemorating individual rulers, finely carved jades, elegant ceramics, and architectural elements such as pyramids, plazas, and ballcourts, were first developed by the Olmec. The presence of Olmec sites of goods such as obsidian, iron ore, and jade are not found in the Gulf of Mexico region but come from throughout Mesoamerica indicates that the Olmec participated in extensive long-distance trade.The features of the Olmec’s art that will carried on in later Mesoamerican cultures due to long distance trade was the presence of goods like obsidian, iron, ore, and jade that are not found in the Gulf of Mexico region but come from throughout Mesoamerica. The Olmec’s influence can be seen farther afield than their traditional area of control, including other cultures’ ceremonial-center layouts and artworks.
6. Describe the city of La Venta- when was it inhabited, and what all was there? What did their pyramids symbolize?
What aspects of this city will carry on in later cities in Mesoamerica and north America?What aspects here will carry on in later cities?
La Venta thrived from about 900 to 400 BCE built on high ground between rivers. Its most prominent feature, an earth mound known as the Great Pyramid, still rises to a height of over 100 feet. The pyramid stands at the south end of a large, open plaza arranged on a north-south axis and defined by long, low earth mounds. Many of the physical features of La Venta, including the symmetrical arrangement of earth mounds, platforms, and central open spaces along an axis that was probably determined by astronomical observations. These are characteristic of later monumental and ceremonial architecture throughout Mesoamerica. Buried underneath the surface were massive stone mosaics, layered of colored clay, and greenstone figures. La Venta, a small island in the coastal wetlands of the Gulf of Mexico, had a rich array of agricultural and marine resources upon which to build a civilization. Recent excavations have established that small villages in the immediate area were growing maize as early as 1750 B.C., but the site reached its maximum size and importance from 1000 to 500 B.C. It was apparently abandoned by 400 B.C. First explored in 1925, La Venta has provided some of the most important archaeological finds from ancient Mesoamerica. In addition to one of the earliest known pyramidal structures—the Great Pyramid—the site's inventory features seventy-seven carved stone monuments, including four colossal heads; four multi-ton greenstone offerings and three mosaic pavements of serpentine blocks; a tomb of basalt columns; and numerous small jade figures and ornaments. Excavations in the 1980s established the site's truly ancient past and provided the first accurate map. Their pyramids are political and religious symbols: platform for the king’s palace and temples, symbol of social hierarchy, and an imitation of moutains, source of rains. Many of the physical features of La Venta, like the symmetrical arrangement of earth mounds, platforms, and central open spaces along an axis that was probably determined by astronomical observations. Their ballgames ritual ball game were played by the Mayans and north Americans like Anasazi.
7. Describe the Olmec habit of burying art objects, with
specifics for examples (see 12-1 and 12-3). Why is the careful
deposits like 12-1 so important for archaeology?
If objects like offering 4 had been looted and sold as pieces- without careful excavation and documentation, we would not know such figures could be part of narrative groups, or that they could be remembered and dug up by later people . It also provides a context to understand many loose greenstone figures found in Mesoamerica.
8. What do we know about the colossal heads they created? What (3+) can we learn about the Olmecs from them?
Colossal heads of stone, some reaching more than seven feet in height and striking in their individuality, are thought to depict the ancient rulers. Distinct headdresses adorn each head, underscoring their different personalities. Much of the iconography at the site reflects its environmental diversity and stresses the importance of the ruler's role in mediating between the watery realms occupied by fish, alligators, and sharks, and the earthly realm of agricultural and animal fertility. Olmec style jaguar face found 300 miles west of La Venta.
9. What might the jaguar-human baby symbolize? What sort of rituals and other objects does it relate to?
A water spirit, rain deity.
10. What all was found at the mountain
base at Chalcatzingo? What was the function of the whole site
Chalcatzingo may mean “The revered place of sacred water”. The whole site for Olmecs was an ancient olmec water sanctuary at the base of the mountains. Stones for ritual water collection and a series of reliefs with water imagery including a carved relief near the cave mouth and the cave represents the Gate to the Underworld.
11. What does the relief of ‘The King’ represent? How does the Gate to the Underworld relate? How used, why?”
”The king” is a carved relief near the cave mouth. It shows an Olmec priest/king in the cave, helping the earth give up moist air, to make clouds, and rain for crops. The Gate to the Unerworld is right near the King relief and it was used for actual rituals as shown in the relief. The gate shows the same mouth of the underworld as in the relief.
1. Where and when did the Aztecs reign? What are some of their main art forms?
? The Aztecs reigned from 1350-1521 in Central Mexico. Poetry, music drama, sculpture
2. What does the Aztec creation myth say, and how does it explain the location of their capital?
The Mexica/Aztec were said to be guided by their god Huitzilopochtli, the war god. When they arrived at an island in the lake, they saw an eagle, which was perched on a nopal cactus full of its fruits (nochtli). This vision fulfilled a prophecy telling them that they should found their new home on that spot. The Aztecs built their city of Tenochtitlan on that site, building a great artificial island, which today is in the center of Mexico City. This legendary vision is pictured on the Coat of Arms of Mexico.
3. What was the capital city of the Aztecs called? Where exactly is it today?
- capital city of the Aztecs was called Tenochtitlan which toady is Mexico City.
4. What was unusual about the location of the Aztec capital? Describe it completely with its main features.
Small island in the western swamps of Lake Texaco . City laid out on grid, inspired by the visible ruins of the ancient city of Teotihuacan of a thousand years earlier. Network of streets and canals teemed with caanoes that transported people and goods within the city and across the lake to towns on the shore, to which it was linked by 3 raised causeways. Two aqueducts supplied freshwater. Center of city a great paved plaza with pyramids, a platform with temples and pyramids, a platform with temples and pyramids, main pyramid Templo Mayor (Double Pyramid of : rain god and war god) Religious and ceremonial center not just of the city, but of the empire as well. Ball courts, priests' quarters, and schools for training young noblemen for the preisthood. Adjacent to the sacred Precinct, susumptuous palaces of the kings and nobles included beautiful gardens, aviaries, and zoos. Administration building was there as well.
5. What building was at the center of the Aztec capital? Describe it
The Templo Mayor (Main Temple) in Tenochtitlan, capital of the mighty Aztec empire, was located in the center of the city, where the most important ritual and ceremonial activities in Aztec life took place. Standing about ninety feet high, the majestic structure consisted of two stepped pyramids rising side by side on a huge platform. It dominated both the Sacred Precinct and the entire city. Access to these shrines was by means of broad staircases, flanked by balustrades. Pairs of large, expertly carved serpent heads were placed at their base, while closer to the top sculptures of figures holding standards displayed banners made of bright paper and feathers.
6. What 2 gods had temples at the top- what were they gods of?
The twin pyramids symbolized two sacred mountains; the one on the left represented Tonacatepetl, the Hill of Sustenance, whose patron deity was Tlaloc, the ancient god of rain, water, fertility; the one on the right represented the Hill of Coatepec, birthplace of the Aztec war and sun god Huitzilopochtli.
What does excavation here show about the building stages of the Templo Mayor?
Describe it, including: What was placed between the layers
The seven major building phases of the Templo Mayor began with a simple structure, probably dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, built in 1325 when Tenochtitlan was founded. Subsequently the Templo Mayor grew enormously both in size and elaboration resulting in the impressive structure seen by the Spaniards in 1519. Reconstructions and enlargements of the temple were sometimes necessary because of flooding and the unstable lakebed on which it was built. Most often, however, successive powerful rulers enhanced the temple to celebrate their own coronations, to honor the gods, and to validate the power of the Aztec empire. The most spectacular expansion of the Templo Mayor took place in the year "1 Rabbit" (1454 A.D.) under the ruler Motecuhzoma I when impressive art works and architectural elements were added.
8. What religious and political reasons are behind Aztec heart sacrifice?
The Aztec bling became part of the ornately ritualized spirituality of Tenochtitlan. The Templo Mayor was not simply a burial pyramid like those erected by the ancient Egyptians but rather the symbol of the sacred mountain of Coatepec. The mountain was the site of a cosmological soap opera: The newly born sun god Huitzilopochtli slew his warrior sister, the moon goddess Coyolxauhqui, and flung her to the bottom of the mountain. With regular doses of such sacrificed warriors, the Mexica believed, the gods would be sated and the life cycle would go on. Without such sacrifices, the gods would perish and the world would end. "The sacred mountain is as important as the cross in Christianity," says Carrasco. For the Mexica, as for most Mesoamerican cultures, "there was this repetitive destruction and creation." Paying homage to the sacred mountain meant marching colorfully garbed captive soldiers up the stairs of the pyramid, forcing them to perform ceremonial dances, and then cutting out their hearts and rolling their corpses down the steps. Rounding up the requisite prisoners to be sacrificed later was an ongoing campaign. Ritual battles were staged on specific days, on neutral land, with the explicit purpose of capturing prisoners, not territory. As the Aztec scholar Ross Hassig notes, each war "was formally initiated by burning a large pyre of paper and incense between the two armies." The Mexica did not speak of "holy wars," because for them there was no other kind. Combat and religion were inseparable.
9. What is the legend behind the statue of Coatlicue and the Coyolxauhqui stones? What does each depict exactly?
Describe the story with main characters.
- The Templo mayor was not simply a burial pyramid but rather the symbol of the sacred mountain of Coatepec. The mountain was the site of a cosmological myth-soap opera: the newly born sun god Huitzilopochtli slew his warrior sister, the moon goddess Coyolxauhqui, and flung her to the bottom of the mountain with regular doses of such sacrificed warrors, the Mexica believed, the gods would be sated and the life cycle would go on. Without such sacrifices, the gods would perish and the world would end. “The Sacred mountain is as important as the cross in Christianity.” The legend symbolizes the reason for real sacrifices at Templo Mayor and the Sun battling the Moon across the sky.
- Legend of the birth of the War/Sun got Huitzilopotchtli- “A woman named Coatlicue lived on the sacred mountain. She had 400 sons, and one daughter (moon goddess) named Coyolxauhqui. One day a ball of feathers fell from the sky, down Coatlicue’s skirt– she became pregnant. The 400 were angry: ‘she has dishonored us.’ They vowed to kill the mother, who was bearing the War God. The daughter led the charge--- but as they killed the mother, the armed War God leapt from her body, and he attacked the daughter, beheading her and tossing her body in pieces down the mountain. And the cult of the War God was taken from the mountain, taken to the city in most ancient times.”Aztec Codex
- Coatlicue the mother goddess and Coyolxauhqui the moon goddess (stone depicts goddess all dismembered in the shape of the moon)
10. How does this story relate to astronomy?
- The legend symbolizes the Sun battling the moon across the sky.
11. Who attacked and destroyed the Aztecs? When? Who was the Aztec king at the time?
Moctezuma !! was the Aztec king in 1521 when the empire was attacked and destroyed by the Spanish and 50,000 revolting indigenous warriors.
12. How were the conquistadors treated by the Aztec king? How did they treat him, and what happened to his gifts?
The legend of Quetzalcoatl, who was banished after committing incest with sister and was said to one day return by water to restore his lordship. Montezuma was convinced the prophecy was being fulfilled so he graciously recieved the spanish presented Cortes with the treasure of Quetzalcoatl and many more gifts of gold.
Describe the discovery in the NGM article, with main parts, terms, what it means and how it aids in a larger question.
The excavation of a sacred pyramid is turning up clues to the empire's bloody rituals- but so far, no sign of it most feared emperor. Found beside the stone figure of the aztec earth goddess was the most Aztec offerings ever found including Aristo Canine. The tableau suggest the 1st level of the underworld, with the Canine serving to guide its master's soul across a dangerous river. But who is it guiding? In the stone of the earth goddess she held a rabbit with 10 dots above it meaning 1502. When the empire's most feared ruler Ahuitzotl was laid to rest amid great ceremony.Lopez Lujan is convinced Ahuitzotl's burial place is somewhere near the monolith was found.