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Ancient Stone Sculptures: In Search of the Mexica Past  

Eduardo Matos Moctezuma

Print publication date:
Jan 2017
Online publication date:
Dec 2016
This chapter discusses the Mexica monumental sculptures uncovered in downtown Mexico City during the late eighteenth century, including the Coatlicue and Tlaltecuhtli sculptures, and the ... More

Art in the Aztec Empire  

Emily Umberger

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
Archaeological remains testify to the spread of goods and ideas over broad areas of Mesoamerica at different times throughout its prehispanic history. However, most material expansions are ... More

Art of the Classic Period  

Rex Koontz

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
The Mesoamerican Classic period (ca. 250–900 ad ) is characterized by the expansion of urban elite artistic cultures across the region. The basic characteristics of Classic-period elite ... More

Aztec Art after the Conquest and in Museums Abroad  

Ray Hernández Durán

Print publication date:
Jan 2017
Online publication date:
Dec 2016
Following the Spanish Conquest, responses to Aztec art were varied. While architecture and many sacred sculptures were demolished and their material remains recycled into new construction, ... More

Aztec Art, Time, and Cosmovisión  

William Barnes

Print publication date:
Jan 2017
Online publication date:
Dec 2016
Aztec religion and the Central Mexican divinatory calendar were intrinsically linked. Focusing on the Aztec conception of art and artists, this chapter presents an overview of how art ... More

Aztec Lapidaries  

Cynthia L. Otis Charlton and Alejandro Pastrana

Print publication date:
Jan 2017
Online publication date:
Dec 2016
Objects of Aztec lapidary work carry great visual impact in contrast to their relatively scarce actual numbers. A combination of historical documents and modern locational techniques has ... More

Aztec Pictography and Painted Histories  

Elizabeth Hill Boone

Print publication date:
Jan 2017
Online publication date:
Dec 2016
The Aztecs recorded knowledge and wrote down the historical events of their past in painted books, now called codices, in which historical information was encoded in a pictographic writing ... More

Colonial Documents  

Eduardo de Jesús Douglas

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
This article discusses colonial Mesoamerican documents. After 1521, the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica became subjects of the Spanish king, thereby coming into contact with European ... More

Early Mesoamerican Writing Systems  

John Justeson

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
From a comparative perspective, the early development of writing in Mesoamerica is poorly preserved. In Mesopotamia, more than six thousand tablets attest the first two centuries of the ... More

Maya Writing  

Nikolai Grube

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
Ancient Maya civilization is widely known for its hieroglyphic writing system. Although the Maya were not the only Mesoamerican civilization that had developed writing, Maya hieroglyphs ... More

Mesoamerican Calendars and Archaeoastronomy  

Anthony F. Aveni

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
This article reviews archaeological evidence of Mesoamerican calendars and archaeoastronomy. Most Mesoamerican calendars measure a year as eighteen months, each consisting of twenty days, ... More

Nahua and Mixtec Pictorial Books: Religion and History through Visual Text  

Lori Boornazian Diel

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
During the Late Postclassic period, Nahuas and Mixtecs kept pictorial books for multiple functions, with the two main genres being religion and history. The Spaniards must have understood ... More

Pottery and the Potter’s Craft in the Aztec Heartland  

Leah D. Minc

Print publication date:
Jan 2017
Online publication date:
Dec 2016
Ceramics are a key component of every archaeological study of Aztec society by virtue of their durability and simultaneous encoding of chronological, functional, and status information. ... More

Scribal Traditions from Highland Mesoamerica (300–1000 ad)  

Javier Urcid

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
This article assesses what we presently know of scribal practices between 300 and 1000 ad in “highland Mesoamerica.” Specifically, the focus is on reckonings of time, writing at ... More

Themes in the Art of the Preclassic Period  

Mary e. Pye

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
This brief article on Preclassic-period art considers some recurrent themes and discusses some new approaches and recent finds. Specifically, it discusses chronology and the transition ... More

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