Visualizing the Sacred

Author: George E. Lankford
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 9780292723085
Release Date: 2011-01-15
Genre: Social Science

The prehistoric native peoples of the Mississippi River Valley and other areas of the Eastern Woodlands of the United States shared a complex set of symbols and motifs that constituted one of the greatest artistic traditions of the pre-Columbian Americas. Traditionally known as the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex, these artifacts of copper, shell, stone, clay, and wood were the subject of the groundbreaking 2007 book Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms: Interpretations of Mississippian Iconography, which presented a major reconstruction of the rituals, cosmology, ideology, and political structures of the Mississippian peoples. Visualizing the Sacred advances the study of Mississippian iconography by delving into the regional variations within what is now known as the Mississippian Iconographic Interaction Sphere (MIIS). Bringing archaeological, ethnographic, ethnohistoric, and iconographic perspectives to the analysis of Mississippian art, contributors from several disciplines discuss variations in symbols and motifs among major sites and regions across a wide span of time and also consider what visual symbols reveal about elite status in diverse political environments. These findings represent the first formal identification of style regions within the Mississippian Iconographic Interaction Sphere and call for a new understanding of the MIIS as a network of localized, yet interrelated religious systems that experienced both continuity and change over time.

Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms

Author: F. Kent Reilly, III
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292774400
Release Date: 2010-01-01
Genre: Social Science

Between AD 900-1600, the native peoples of the Mississippi River Valley and other areas of the Eastern Woodlands of the United States conceived and executed one of the greatest artistic traditions of the Precolumbian Americas. Created in the media of copper, shell, stone, clay, and wood, and incised or carved with a complex set of symbols and motifs, this seven-hundred-year-old artistic tradition functioned within a multiethnic landscape centered on communities dominated by earthen mounds and plazas. Previous researchers have referred to this material as the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex (SECC). This groundbreaking volume brings together ten essays by leading anthropologists, archaeologists, and art historians, who analyze the iconography of Mississippian art in order to reconstruct the ritual activities, cosmological vision, and ideology of these ancient precursors to several groups of contemporary Native Americans. Significantly, the authors correlate archaeological, ethnographic, and art historical data that illustrate the stylistic differences within Mississippian art as well as the numerous changes that occur through time. The research also demonstrates the inadequacy of the SECC label, since Mississippian art is not limited to the Southeast and reflects stylistic changes over time among several linked but distinct religious traditions. The term Mississippian Iconographic Interaction Sphere (MIIS) more adequately describes the corpus of this Mississippian art. Most important, the authors illustrate the overarching nature of the ancient Native American religious system, as a creation unique to the native American cultures of the eastern United States.

Picture Cave

Author: Carol Diaz-Granados
Publisher: Linda Schele Series in Maya an
ISBN: STANFORD:36105213027654
Release Date: 2015-06-15
Genre: History

A millennia ago, Native Americans entered the dark recesses of a cave in eastern Missouri and painted an astonishing array of human, animal, and supernatural creatures on its walls. Known as Picture Cave, it was a hallowed site for sacred rituals and rites of passage, for explaining the multi-layered cosmos, for vision quests, for communing with spirits in the "other world," and for burying the dead. The number, variety, and complexity of images make Picture Cave one of the most significant prehistoric sites in North America, similar in importance to Cahokia and Chaco Canyon. Indeed, scholars will be able to use it to reconstruct much of the Native American symbolism of the early Western Mississippian world. The Picture Cave Interdisciplinary Project brought together specialists in American Indian art and iconography, two artists, Osage Indian elders, a museum curator, a folklorist, and an internationally renowned cave archaeologist to produce the first complete documentation of the pictographs on the cave walls and the first interpretations of their meanings and significance. This extensively illustrated volume presents the Project's findings, including an introduction to Picture Cave and prehistoric cave art and technical analyses of pigments, radiocarbon dating, spatial order, and archaeological remains. Interpretations of the cave's imagery, from individual motifs to complex panels; the responses of contemporary artists; and interviews with Osage elders (descendants of the people who made the art), describing what Picture Cave means to them today, are also included. A visual glossary of all the images in Picture Cave as well as panoramic views complete this pathfinding volume.

Hero Hawk and Open Hand

Author: Richard F. Townsend
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300106015
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Art

Along the Ohio, Tennessee, and Mississippi Rivers, the archaeological remains of earthen pyramids, plazas, large communities, and works of art and artifacts testify to Native American civilizations that thrived there between 3000 B.C. and A.D. 1500. This fascinating book presents exciting new information on the art and cultures of these ancient peoples and features hundreds of gorgeous photographs of important artworks, artifacts, and ritual objects excavated from Amerindian archaeological sites. Drawing on excavation findings and extensive research, the contributors to the book document a succession of distinct ancient populations in the pre-Columbian world of the American Midwest and Southeast. A team of interdisciplinary scholars examines the connections between archaeological remains of different regions and the themes, forms, and rituals that continue in specific tribes of today. The book also includes the personal reflections of contemporary Native Americans who discuss their perspectives on the significance of the fascinating and beautiful prehistoric artifacts as well as their own cultural practices today.

Star gods of the Maya

Author: Susan Milbrath
Publisher: Univ of Texas Pr
ISBN: UOM:39015047729846
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit

Observations of the sun, moon, planets, and stars played a central role in ancient Maya lifeways, as they do today among contemporary Maya who maintain the traditional ways. This pathfinding book reconstructs ancient Maya astronomy and cosmology through the astronomical information encoded in Precolumbian Maya art and confirmed by the current practices of living Maya peoples. Susan Milbrath opens the book with a discussion of modern Maya beliefs about astronomy, along with essential information on naked-eye observation. She devotes subsequent chapters to Precolumbian astronomical imagery, which she traces back through time, starting from the Colonial and Postclassic eras. She delves into many aspects of the Maya astronomical images, including the major astronomical gods and their associated glyphs, astronomical almanacs in the Maya codices [painted books], and changes in the imagery of the heavens over time. This investigation yields new data and a new synthesis of information about the specific astronomical events and cycles recorded in Maya art and architecture. Indeed, it constitutes the first major study of the relationship between art and astronomy in ancient Maya culture.

Sun Circles and Human Hands

Author: Emma Lila Fundaburk
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
ISBN: 9780817310776
Release Date: 2001-02-22
Genre: History

From utilitarian arrowheads to beautiful stone effigy pipes to ornately-carved shell disks, the photographs and drawings in Sun Circles and Human Hands present the archaeological record of the art and native crafts of the prehistoric southeastern Indians, painstakingly compiled in the 1950s by two sisters who traveled the eastern United States interviewing archaeologists and collectors and visiting the major repositories. Although research over the last 50 years has disproven many of the early theories reported in the text—which were not the editors' theories but those of the archaeologists of the day—the excellent illustrations of objects no longer available for examination have more than validated the lasting worth of this popular book.

Heaven and Earth in Ancient Mexico

Author: Susan Milbrath
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 9780292744110
Release Date: 2013-05-15
Genre: Social Science

The Codex Borgia, a masterpiece that predates the Spanish conquest of central Mexico, records almanacs used in divination and astronomy. Within its beautifully painted screenfold pages is a section (pages 29–46) that shows a sequence of enigmatic pictures that have been the subject of debate for more than a century. Bringing insights from ethnohistory, anthropology, art history, and archaeoastronomy to bear on this passage, Susan Milbrath presents a convincing new interpretation of Borgia 29–46 as a narrative of noteworthy astronomical events that occurred over the course of the year AD 1495–1496, set in the context of the central Mexican festival calendar. In contrast to scholars who have interpreted Borgia 29–46 as a mythic history of the heavens and the earth, Milbrath demonstrates that the narrative documents ancient Mesoamericans' understanding of real-time astronomy and natural history. Interpreting the screenfold's complex symbols in light of known astronomical events, she finds that Borgia 29–46 records such phenomena as a total solar eclipse in August 1496, a November meteor shower, a comet first sighted in February 1496, and the changing phases of Venus and Mercury. She also shows how the narrative is organized according to the eighteen-month festival calendar and how seasonal cycles in nature are represented in its imagery. This new understanding of the content and purpose of the Codex Borgia reveals this long-misunderstood narrative as the most important historical record of central Mexican astronomy on the eve of the Spanish conquest.

Death and the Classic Maya Kings

Author: James L. Fitzsimmons
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 9780292781986
Release Date: 2010-01-01
Genre: Social Science

Like their regal counterparts in societies around the globe, ancient Maya rulers departed this world with elaborate burial ceremonies and lavish grave goods, which often included ceramics, red pigments, earflares, stingray spines, jades, pearls, obsidian blades, and mosaics. Archaeological investigation of these burials, as well as the decipherment of inscriptions that record Maya rulers' funerary rites, have opened a fascinating window on how the ancient Maya envisaged the ruler's passage from the world of the living to the realm of the ancestors. Focusing on the Classic Period (AD 250-900), James Fitzsimmons examines and compares textual and archaeological evidence for rites of death and burial in the Maya lowlands, from which he creates models of royal Maya funerary behavior. Exploring ancient Maya attitudes toward death expressed at well-known sites such as Tikal, Guatemala, and Copan, Honduras, as well as less-explored archaeological locations, Fitzsimmons reconstructs royal mortuary rites and expands our understanding of key Maya concepts including the afterlife and ancestor veneration.

Recreating Hopewell

Author: Douglas K. Charles
Publisher:
ISBN: 0813028981
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Social Science

Two thousand years ago, the Hopewell culture dominated much of eastern North America and left behind earthworks and other artifacts that continue to fascinate archaeologists. Recreating Hopewell--the first comprehensive overview of Hopewell archaeology published in a generation--represents more than two decades of new research into the vast world of the moundbuilders. This book includes contributions from scholars working at sites in the Hopewell "core" region of Ohio as well as archaeologists based in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, and Georgia. Their results are based on cultural resource management excavations and new analytical techniques, such as the remote sensing of unexcavated sites and chemical sourcing of raw materials. While providing new insights from each Hopewell region's lithic, ceramic, faunal, and botanical data, this new research clearly shows the extent to which the Hopewell cultures differed across the midcontinent. Giving Hopewell a broader context than previously understood, the authors tie prehistory to historic Indian activities, beliefs, and customs. Scholars interested in the archaeology of eastern North America, especially those working on the juncture of ceremony and settlement, will welcome this important volume.

The Tutankhamun Prophecies

Author: Maurice Cotterell
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781591438632
Release Date: 2001-10-01
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit

Reveals the common origins of the ancient Egyptian and Mayan civilizations. • Shows how these cultures had the ability to gaze into the heavens to predict the future unfolding of humanity and their place within the cosmic order. • The author's revelations about the Freemasons' connection to this ancient knowledge generated a firestorm of controversy in Europe. • By the author of the bestseller The Mayan Prophecies. Maurice Cotterell's background as a scientist, mathematician, and engineer helped him to decipher the code of the ancient Maya, revealing the mystery of their science and religion to an extent never before possible. Using the same techniques, the author turns his attention here to deciphering the secrets encoded within the tomb of Tutankhamun. His extensive research revealed that both the ancient Egyptians and the Maya possessed a sophisticated understanding of sun spot activity and other astronomical phenomena--facts recently confirmed by modern science. Knowledge of the connections between solar patterns and human destiny allowed the Egyptians and Maya to harness the energy generated by the sun to achieve spiritual enlightenment and soul growth. The link between reincarnation and solar energy encoded in the tombs of Tutankhamun and the Mayan Lord Pacal is a jealously guarded secret held by a select number of occult groups, including the higher orders of Freemasonry. The author unleashed a firestorm of controversy in Europe when he exposed much of the esoteric knowledge of the Freemasons, including one of the society's most carefully concealed secrets: incarnate gods like Lord Pacal and Tutankhamun have come to earth to help humans achieve spiritual enlightenment, soul growth, and individual realization as solar beings.

Maya s first rose

Author: Martin Scot Kosins
Publisher: Berkley Pub Group
ISBN: CORNELL:31924086631813
Release Date: 1992
Genre: Family & Relationships

The author describes Maya, the dog with whom he shared eighteen years of his life

BEING AND BECOMING INDIGENOUS ARCHAEOLOGISTS

Author: George P. Nicholas
Publisher: Left Coast Press
ISBN: 9781598744972
Release Date: 2010-04-15
Genre: Social Science

What does being an archaeologist mean to Indigenous persons? How and why do some become archaeologists? What has led them down a path to what some in their communities have labeled a colonialist venture? What were are the challenges they have faced, and the motivations that have allowed them to succeed? How have they managed to balance traditional values and worldview with Western modes of inquiry? And how are their contributions broadening the scope of archaeology? Indigenous archaeologists have the often awkward role of trying to serves as spokespeople both for their home community and for the scientific community of archaeologists. This volume tells the stories—in their own words-- of 37 indigenous archaeologists from six continents, how they became archaeologists, and how their dual role affects their relationships with their community and their professional colleagues. Sponsored by the World Archaeological Congress

An Archaeology of the Soul

Author: Robert L. Hall
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252066022
Release Date: 1997-01-01
Genre: Social Science

Looking beyond regional barriers, An Archaeology Of The Soul offers new depths of insight into American Indian ethnography. Hall uncovers the lineage and kinship shared by Native North Americans through the perspectives of history, archaeology, archaeoastronomy, biological anthropology, linguistics, and mythology.

Forest Society

Author: Norman B. Schwartz
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812213165
Release Date: 1990
Genre: History

The author contends that for 250 years, roughly from the 1720s to the 1970s, the sociocultural system of Petén endured with remarkable continuity, not in spite of the changes in the hinterland region but, to an important degree, because of them.

Conquest and Survival in Colonial Guatemala

Author: William George Lovell
Publisher: McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP
ISBN: 0773527419
Release Date: 2005
Genre: History

George Lovell's classic work, based primarily on unpublished archival sources, examines the impact of Spanish rule on the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, an isolated region of Guatemala running along the country's north-western border with Mexico. Although Spanish imperialism left its mark, Lovell reveals that the vibrant Maya culture found in the Cuchumatán highlands was not obliterated and, although under considerable stress, endures to this day. This extensively revised third edition includes a new preface, a chapter on native resistance to Spanish domination, an updated bibliography, and an epilogue which documents that postcolonial times had as much effect on people's lives as three centuries of Spanish rule. In discussions that focus on land, settlement, economy, access to resources, and population change over time, Lovell exposes the colonial roots of problems at the heart of Guatemala's ongoing political crises.