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Chalcatzingo Monument 5: A Middle Formative Mesoamerican Expression of the Celestial Paradise

Author(s): Celso Jaquez

Year: 2016

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In 2004 Dr. Karl Taube outlined the ancient Mesoamerican concept of a celestial floral paradise where souls were transported after death. This presentation will focus on what I believe to be the earliest representation of sacred transport of souls to the celestial realm. Serpent representation, often depicted with floral adornments or exhaling flower blossoms, were often depicted as either vehicles for the transport of souls to the afterlife, or as was the case of the cosmological murals at the late pre-Classic site of San Bartolo, as the ground line for events related to creation. The origins of the Flower World complex, however, is rooted much deeper in Mesoamerican history. Floral motifs intended to reflect the afterlife can be traced to the Olmec as early as 700 BCE. It is during this period of time that a monument at the site of Chalcatzingo was carved intending to depict what would be the earliest representation of the concept of sky serpent transport of the soul to the celestial paradise. Evidence will be presented that will reassess the interpretation of Monument 5 at the Middle Formative Olmec site of Chalcatzingo reinterpreting and reframing it within the Flower World religious complex.

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Chalcatzingo Monument 5: A Middle Formative Mesoamerican Expression of the Celestial Paradise. Celso Jaquez. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404742)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

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