Lecture 10 notes - Olmeca-Xiacallanca and Aztecs - Cacaxtla...

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Cacaxtla acropolis series of hilltops joined together – acropolis 200m long discovered by looters holds the best preserved murals flourished after the fall of Teotihuacán built by the Olmeca-Xicallanca of whom we know very little – despite the name they probably had nothing to do with the Olmecs many walls and moats, even the hills are for defensive purposes Red Temple, East Wall, Cacaxtla, Olmeca-Xicallanca, AD 800-900 two paintings across from each other on either side of the staircase the east one is the most often portrayed the paint mixtures are all the same – similar to Bonampak mixture and style water cascading down steps – integrates architecture recalls cylinder vessels – mythological scene toothless old man with collapsed face leaning on a walking stick back rack – Mayans didn’t have beasts of burden – connection with trade scene of plenitude water almost flows as feathers contextualization band of water – possibly a watery underworld cacal tree with pods growing on it attention paid to the outlines and contours (toad) just like the Maya little human heads growing off the maize plant on the left as maize cobs
Battle Mural, Cacaxtla, Olmeca-Xicallanca, AD 800-900 two groups are battling standing warriors are clearly the victors – they are dressed have lots of weaponry and some wear jaguar pelts the lying warriors at their feet have their entrails spilling out and spears piercing them may be an ethnic warfare o different dress o different skin colors – the victors are darker o the standing warriors have the cranial deformation victims already stripped of their clothes as they will be for their sacrifice later standing figure in the centre is directing the blues are so similar it’s hard to tell what’s going on Battle Mural Detail, Cacaxtla, Olmeca-Xicallanca, AD 800-900 jaguar warriors are beating bird warriors generally warriors like to dress up like predators but the losers are not wearing eagle feathers they are wearing the green feathers of a more docile bird – possibly the victors who had this painted wanted to add to their humiliation by dressing them up as prey the jaguar warrior is said to be so because of the jaguar pelt he wears – he is holding down his victim with one leg and getting ready to pierce him with his spear alludes to the Jaguar and Eagle Knights of the Aztecs
Male Figure, Temple of Venus, Cacaxtla, Olmeca-Xicallanca, AD 800-900 there are two of these at the temple each of blue people wearing oversized jade jewelry (Maya tradition) Venus sign at the waist Venus has a dual existence o Though this one is male the other is female o Evening star and morning star o Rises before and after the sun Jaguar pelt at his thighs tail coming out of groin is very scorpion like possibly for the scorpion constellation star signs are along the edge – celestial band (context)

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