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Codices (Other Keyword)

1-7 (7 Records)

Bridging the Gaps: Integrating Archaeology and History in Oaxaca, Mexico (2015)


Bridging the Gaps: Integrating Archaeology and History in Oaxaca, Mexico does just that: it bridges the gap between archaeology and history of the Precolumbian, Colonial, and Republican eras of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, a cultural area encompassing several of the longest-enduring literate societies in the world. Fourteen case studies from an interdisciplinary group of archaeologists, anthropologists, ethnohistorians, and art historians consciously compare and contrast changes and...

Colorful pictures: Understanding the material of the Mesoamerican precolonial codices (2015)


In this session the most recent advances are presented of an ongoing interdisciplinary project aimed at better understanding the materials of which, and with which, the Mesoamerican Precolonial codices were made. These materials are as varied as ranging from turquoise from the southern United States to cochineal from Oaxaca, jaguar skins from the tropical areas and Maya Blue from the Yucatan peninsula. As such, this understanding allows for a reconstruction of the whole complex practice of...

Cosmogenesis in the Mixtec Codices: Visual Narratives of Place, Emergence, and Movement (2017)


In the Postclassic Mixtec codices, the integral and integrative themes of place, emergence, and movement converge. Neglected in much of the scholarly literature on the sacred books of the Mixtec, the visual representation of supernatural and historical figures’ emergence and movement from place to place is an integral component of the codical narratives. Emergence and movement are tethered to and integrative with Mixtec portrayals of place, of various kingdoms through a standardized glyphic sign...

Flower & Song: Exploring Literacy in Postclassic Mesoamerica (2017)


The Postclassic codices of the Maya, Mixtec, and Nahua peoples have often been separated based on preconceived notions of literacy and language, with the Maya codices receiving an epigraphic approach while the Nahua and Mixtec receive an art historical approach. This division is largely arbitrary and based on Western assumptions of the nature of writing and its form, privileging scripts which lean towards the alphabetic as more advanced. Within these codices, the linguistic practice of...

From Flame to Flowers: Moths and Butterflies in the Codex Borgia Group (2017)


Butterfly imagery in the Borgia Group shows how these volatiles were classified in Postclassic Central Mexico. They are grouped with birds among the 13 "lords of the day" in the Codex Borgia, and they sometimes seem to be interchangeable with moths, especially in imagery of the Fire God. Another god, Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl, is associated with images of "army worms" devouring maize, symbolizing the caterpillar stage of a moth that distributes its eggs in the wind. Butterfly symbols are naturally...

Making and Keeping Secret Knowledge at Xultun, Guatemala (2016)


As repositories for scientific secrets and ritual expertise, the four extant Maya codex books have proven an indispensable source for understanding ancient systems of religion and socio-political thought. But despite the undoubted existence of codex books during the much earlier Late Classic period (600-900 C.E.), the tropical climate’s decay-inducing effect on organic material has thus far prevented their recovery in the archaeological record. In this paper, I discuss the Los Sabios mural at...

Seasonality in Central Mexican Painted Images of Tlaloc: From Classic to Postclassic (2016)


Tlaloc, the rain god of Central Mexico, has different seasonal avatars in painted imagery. Colonial codices document these variants in veintena festivals recorded to help Spanish friars detect survivals of indigenous religion. Rainy season imagery shows Tlaloc associated with maize plants and agricultural fertility. In contrast, imagery of the dry season emphasizes Tlaloc’s mountain aspect, because the rain god withdrew into the mountains to hold back the rainfall. The priests performed mountain...

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America