Posts Tagged ‘Civilization’

Inside of the  Quetzalpapálotl complex. Photo Ancient America (Tempo Ameríndio).


September 30, 2017 – February 11, 2018
De Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Exhibit

«Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire» will explore how artworks from the ancient city shape our understanding of Teotihuacan as an urban environment. One of the earliest, largest, and most important cities in the ancient Americas, Teotihuacan is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most visited archaeological site in Mexico. The exhibition, organized in collaboration with Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), will feature recent, never-before-seen archaeological discoveries and other major loans from Mexican and US cultural institutions. Monumental and ritual objects from Teotihuacan’s three pyramids will be shown alongside mural paintings, ceramics, and stone sculptures from the city’s apartment compounds. By bringing these pieces together, and encouraging visitors to understand the context of specific sites within the city, the exhibition will provide a rare opportunity for Bay Area audiences to experience a significant place in Mexico’s cultural landscape—the captivating and mysterious ancient city of Teotihuacan.



Read Full Post »

October 1, 2014-May 3, 2015

Ethnography Museum of Geneva, Switzerland Exhibit


“Mochica Kings: Divinity and Power in Ancient Peru”
A collection of artifacts from Peru’s ancient Moche culture has become more than an object of admiration for its undisputed artistic importance and will be on display at the Ethnography Museum of Geneva (MEG), in Switzerland.
Starting early next month “Mochica kings: Divinity and power in ancient Peru” will be showcasing latest treasures unearthed from the tomb of the Lord of Ucupe, buried between 340-540 CE and is located 475 miles north of the nation’s capital Lima.
From October 1st, 2014 through May 3rd, 2015, the exhibition will be displaying artifacts such as bottles, glasses, nose-rings, crowns, masks and diadems.
According to the Minister of Culture, the exhibition is aimed at promoting Peruvian ancient cultures worldwide, therefore it has authorized the departure of said valuable objects belonging to the National Cultural Heritage to be exhibited in the Geneva’s museum.
“Said artifacts will return to their place of origin within 30 calendar days following the exhibition’s closing date”, the MC noted through a supreme decree.
Renowned for their monumental architecture and rich visual culture, the Moche society inhabited the north coast of Peru during the Early Intermediate Period (AD 100–800).
They were innovators on many political, ideological, and artistic levels. They developed a powerful elite and specialized craft production, and instituted labor tribute payments.
This early Peruvian civilization elaborated new technologies in metallurgy, pottery, and textile production, and finally, they created an elaborate ideological system and a complex religious iconography.
Ethnography Museum of Geneva
Geneva, Switzerland
(NO URL for this exhibit yet)

Peru This Week has the announcement here;

Read Full Post »


Révélation d’un temps sans fin

 du mardi 7 octobre 2014 au dimanche 8 février 2015

  • galerie Jardin
  • billet Expositions temporaires ou billet jumelé


Mercedes de la Garza, écrivain, historienne et académicienne. Chercheur émérite du Centre d’études mayas de l’UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) et membre permanent du comité scientifique de l’INAH (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexique).

À propos de l’exposition

Les Mayas de l’époque préhispanique, créateurs d’une civilisation fascinante, ont laissé à la postérité des dizaines de cités révélant une architecture remarquable, une sculpture d’une grande perfection technique, de nombreuses fresques, des constructions, des vases de céramique et un registre détaillé de leurs croyances religieuses, de leurs rituels, de leur vie en communauté, de leurs habitudes et de leur histoire.

Cette exposition permet d’apprécier le legs des Mayas à l’humanité. Suivant un ordre thématique – le rapport à la nature, le pouvoir des cités, les rites funéraires -, elle donne à voir les divers aspects de cette culture ainsi que son génie créatif. L’exposition cherche à la fois à dresser un panorama général et à montrer la variété des styles et les réussites esthétiques des différents groupes mayas, chacun d’eux avec sa propre langue et sa propre expressivité.


October 7, 2014-February 8, 2015
Musee du Quai Branly Museum Exhibit
Paris, France

“Revelation of a Time Without End”

The Mayans of pre-Hispanic times, creators of a fascinating civilization, left to posterity dozens of cities revealing striking architecture, a sculpture of great technical perfection, many frescoes, constructions, ceramic vases and a detailed record of their religious beliefs, their rituals, their community life, their habits and their history.
This exhibition features the legacy of the Maya to humanity. Next thematically – the relationship to nature, the power of cities, funeral rites – it lets us see the various aspects of this culture and its creative genius. The exhibition seeks to both general overviews and show the variety of styles and aesthetic achievements of the different Mayan groups, each with its own language and its own expression.


Read Full Post »

October 12, 2013-March 16, 2014
Linden Museum; Stuttgart, Germany Exhibit

The Inca Empire of the 15th and 16th century was the largest indigenous empire ever created on American soil. With Cusco and Machu Picchu in Peru as the centres of power, it stretched almost 5000 km along the Andes of Columbia to Chile. The exhibition in co-operation with Lokschuppen Rosenheim is the first to be fully devoted to this magnificent culture.
The exhibition follows the evolution of the legendary pre-Hispanic culture, from its origins in the mid 11th century, right up to colonial times. The exhibition focuses on the imperial phase. Inca Viracocha, Pachacutec Yupanqui and Topa Inca Yupanqui were not only responsible for creating the Inca Empire, but also for building Cusco, Machu Picchu and other world-famous sites.
Colourful and richly patterned textiles from Inca and colonial times, valuable and extremely rare stone offering bowls, gold jewellery, knotted braids and reconstructions of archaeological sites give visitors a varied impression. They explain the background, religion, architecture, economy and balance of power of the Inca Empire. Paintings, wooden cups and textiles from the colonial times are testament to subsequent mixed culture, which was dominated by strong European influences.
This is the first time that the majority of the pieces have been exhibited in Europe. Lenders include:
Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú, Museo Larco Lima, British Museum London, Museo de América Madrid, Ethnologisches Museum Berlin, Linden-Museum Stuttgart, Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde München, Münchner Stadtmuseum, Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg, Världskulturmuseet Göteborg, Museum der Kulturen Basel, Museum an de Stroom Antwerpen, Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover, Staatliche Münzsammlung München, Bonner Altamerika-Sammlung der Universität Bonn, private collectors.
Afterwards the exhibition will be presented at Lokschuppen Rosenheim from 11 April until 23 November 2014.

Read Full Post »

Across the Southeast of the United States of North America a great corn-fed civilization had arisen, that of the Temple Mound Builders, so named for the religious edifices which topped their great earth thumps. Also called the Mississippian culture in nod to its stronghold in the bottomlands of the Mississippi and Ohio, it aroused around 750 AD, lasted into the historic period, and would penetrate as far westwards as Oklahoma and northwards to Wisconsin.

The Temple Mound Builders did not spring pure-formed out of the air, but were the culmination of other local cultures, dating back to at least 1000 BC and the Adena of the Ohio, who constructed earthen mounds as burial sites for their deceased. Many traits of Adena culture were carried on by successive mound-building culture, the Hopewell, which radiated out from Ohio to Amerindian villages in the Midwest and east. More sophisticated agriculturalists than the Adena, the Hopewell were also major league artisans, securing obsidian from Yellowstone, tortoiseshell from the Gulf of México, silver from Ontario, bear teeth from Wyoming, all fashioned for adornments, religious ritual or as grave goods. One of the Hopewell’s most distinctive artifacts was a tubular stone pipe with animal effigies; in the pipe they smoked tobacco, not for pleasure but for ceremony. It was due to the Hopewell that pipe-smoking became universal amongst the amerindians of North America.

Hopewell pipe.

By 500 AD the Hopewell culture was in terminal decay. In is steed arose the Mississippian, with the shift to major cropping of corn encouraging more complex political and social structures; nowhere was this more clearly seen than in the Mississippian capital of Cahokia. Other best known sites are Emerald, Moundville, in the south, Etowah and Ocmulgee, and in the west, Spiro, Oklahoma.

Mississippian towns were usually established on an island or near a river. A plaza laid out, with several houses and temples enclosed by a palisade. Dwellings were constructed of long saplings set upright in trenches, and the roof frameworks was woven like a huge basket. The exterior surfaces of the walls were lathed with cane and plastered with clay. Temples seem to have been built over demolished or outworn council chambers: the flat-topped pyramids becoming the foundation for the temples. Elsewhere, entire hilltops were leveled off and terraced to create plazas, with temple mounds built on top. These traditions of building activities alongside with the practice of human sacrifices reflect Mesoamerican influences, although the architectural results were more primitive.

Over the river from modern-day St Louis, Cahokia gathered within its palisades walls over 10.000 people, ruled over by small nobility, themselves under the tutelage of an absolute monarchy, the Great Sun chief. This was a rigid theocracy, whose lieder was not permitted to put foot to the ground, so was carried in a litter. Society was stratified into Priests, Noble, Honored and Stinkard classes. Cahokia was the capital of the Temple Mound people from around 850 to 1150 AD, during which period they aggressively expanded their civilization. Military prowess was rewarded by promotion to the next class, though that to Noble was very difficult. Stinkards were replenished from conquered peoples.

Representation of warriors show wooden armor and a sword-like weapon and too many bronze weapon heads found to be explained as modern intrusions. A sculpture from the Spiro mound in Oklahoma, the western outpost of Mississippian culture, shows a warrior that wears a helmet and armor (possibly copper) on is back and front chest, and he holds a club made from a single piece of polished stone. He wears also a short breechclout. It is possible that they also used a war club of about 60cm long and described by white traders as “gun-shaped”, with an iron projection at the bend – suggesting a very similar weapon to that used by Amerindians of the Northeastern Woodlands.

Wooden or leather shields, breast pieces, arm and leg bracelets afforded some protection.

Other weapons probably used were the long bow, slings and lances, the latter surely used in the Chunkey game that was a form of widespread Amerindian game of hoop and spear, played by the Mississippians and by the historic Choctaws and Creeks during the 18th century, as witnessed by white traders. They seem to wear painted faces with particular emphasis around the eye probably representing the falcon, a bird with a formidable hunting and killing speed of attack – and thus perhaps connected with the “Southern” or “Death” Cult. Common colors were red, black and white.

In large areas Temple Mound Buildings become associated with the Death Cult or Buzzard Cult, which bound the various Mississippian chiefdoms together. The Cult was named after one of its principal practices that was the torture-sacrifice of enemy warriors, whose severed heads would later be displayed on poles around the temple. Purification came from an emetic, the cassina-based “Black Drink”, taken “until the blood comes”.

By the time the Spanish tramped to the Mississippi, Cahokia had long been left to the weeds, so had Moundville and Etowah. Yet across the south, the European encountered numerous still extant nations of Temple Mound Builders, including the Taensa, the Cherokees, Timucuas, Coosas, Muskokees, Mobiles, Quapaws and Chickasaws. These peoples when questioned about their Mound Building ancestors seemed to know little of their predecessors, although cultural traits clearly did survive. The annual rekindling of the sacred fire, an earthly symbol of the Sun, color symbolism and the Puskita or Busk (a kind of New Year or world renewal celebration which took place when the corn ripened) were all descended from Temple Mound culture. Of them all, it was the Natchez nation who practiced the old Mississippian culture in its strongest form, complete with caste system ruled over by the Great Sun.

Read Full Post »