Arth 324 Final Study Guide

Arth 324 Final Study Guide - Arth 324 Final Study Guide...

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Arth 324 Final Study Guide 1. Describe the dual calendar systems and the long count: All Mesoamerican calendar systems have their roots in the Late Formative era. the “dual calendar” refers to the 365/260 day calendars, which were formed at the beginning of the period and generally used simultaneously. The regular calendar dates are short, like “July 24” – a. The 365 day calendar was divided into 18 months of 20 days each, plus five nameless days at the end of the year, to equate to the solar year. Each year took a name, usually the day name and number of the 260 day calendar, but because of the calculation only 4 days can be year bearers, paired with a coefficient from 1 to 13, this created the 52 year cycle, called the ‘calendar round’, like our century. b. The 260 day calendar is roughly the gestation of a person. It is the oldest calendar, used as early as the 6 th century BC when the Zapotecs began to mark events publicly. Mesoamerican people were named for their birthday in this calendar. It is subdivided into 20 day rounds, which had 13 day numbers, giving 260 possible combinations. The 260 day system was the ‘almanac’ of the Mesoamericans. the long count was developed later and used in conjunction with the dual calendars. It was a series of numbers on top of each other in a column, showing the exact number of days since 3114 BCE. The year 0 was the start of this cycle, and the end of the previous cycle. These dates can be easily read and were important to artists who wrote them beautifully. This was important partially to: a. establish lineage (these are my ancestors going back, so I am imbued with their power) b. the date they were born on gives them a certain name and also sometimes powers c. they needed to know exactly when the apocalypse was coming The counting system was bar and dots (bar = 5), based on the # 20. 2. Who was Jaguar to the Olmecs? How was it similar and different than the Andean jaguar? The jaguar of the Olmecs: a. The Olmec jaguar was shown with a cleft in the head, rounded baby-like head, and the tears of the crying baby. b. Jaguar to the Olmecs represented a powerful hunter and differed from the Andean Jaguar because it was not seen as a mythical creature, probably due to the frequency in which real jaguars could be seen. The jaguar itself hunted at night and usually along streams, ate people. c. The Andean jaguar was metaphorical, not part of day-to-day existence. 3. Why were Mesoamerican effigies often ritually “killed”? They gain power by being worn and used in ritual, eventually have too much power of its own for a mortal to wear it and need to have that power released, usually by drilling a hole at the side of it’s mouth or in its cheek – most Mesoamerican cultures believed power or mythic beings come from a cleft in the head so the effigy would not be killed that way.
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This note was uploaded on 06/10/2008 for the course ARTH 324 taught by Professor Daubert during the Spring '08 term at Los Rios Colleges.

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Arth 324 Final Study Guide - Arth 324 Final Study Guide...

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