Pumas and Vultures and Wolves, Oh My! The Appropriation and Alteration of Teotihuacan Processing Predators at Tula
Author(s): Keith Jordan
This is an abstract from the "Animal Symbolism in Postclassic Mesoamerica: Papers in Honor of Cecelia Klein" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
This paper examines the predatory animals on the relief friezes of Pyramid B at Tula, clearly based on Teotihuacan models originally expressed in different media and contexts--murals in interior spaces--and the possible reasons for both Tula's borrowing of this imagery and its redeployment in sculpture in the public space of a monument dedicated to the legitimation of rulership. Recent evidence from Teotihuacan in the form of fragmentary reliefs of jaguars eating hearts on the adosada added to the Pyramid of the Sun around 300-400 CE, suggests that part of this shift may have already started at Teotihuacan, but the context of the animal iconography remains quite different from its use at Tula. I interpret the transfer of imagery formerly used mostly in domestic spaces at Teotihuacan to more public buildings at Tula as reflecting a strategy of equating the monumental spaces of Tula Grande with domestic spaces linked to ancestry. The Pyramid B carnivores probably represent lineages of claimed Teotihuacan descent as well as warrior sodalities of Teotihuacan origin, ruling in coalition with the figures depicted on the Pyramid B pillar reliefs.
Cite this Record
Pumas and Vultures and Wolves, Oh My! The Appropriation and Alteration of Teotihuacan Processing Predators at Tula. Keith Jordan. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451661)
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min long: -107.271; min lat: 18.48 ; max long: -94.087; max lat: 23.161 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23151