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The Valley of Mexico ANTH 221: Peoples and Cultures of Mexico Kimberly Martin, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "The Valley of Mexico ANTH 221: Peoples and Cultures of Mexico Kimberly Martin, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Valley of Mexico ANTH 221: Peoples and Cultures of Mexico Kimberly Martin, Ph.D.

2 MesoAmerican Timeline

3 Pre-Classic 1500 BCE – 250 BCE Chalcatzingo 1500 – 500 BCE Tlatilco (Cuicuilco) 1200 – 200 BCE

4 Chalcatzingo BCE Southern end of the Valley of Mexico Population of individuals Trade Center Residences of several classes Burials under residences Central plaza with an Olmec style altar Platform structures Bas relief carvings

5 Water Dancing Group Carvings

6 Water Dancing Group Carving Detail

7 Tlatilco 1200 BCE – 200 BCE Complex settlement patterns Economic specialization Stratification Long distance trade Pottery vessels and figurines Burials

8 Tlatilco Culture Cuicuilco Site, Valley of Mexico

9 South Side Cuicuilco Pyramid

10 Tlatilco Archaeology Sites: Burial Goods

11 Tlatilco Archaeology Sites: Burials

12 Deformed Skull Cultural standard of beauty obtained by wrapping infant skulls to shape their growth.

13 Tlatilco Archaeology Sites: Body with Burial Goods

14 Tlatilco Ceramics

15 Monument 1 El Rey Woman seated inside cave (God’s Mouth) with rain clouds and rain

16 Chalcatzingo Stela 31: Feline figure, human figure, S cloud formation and raindrops

17 Classic 250 BCE – 900 CE Teotihuacan Cholula

18 Teotihuacan – 125, ,000 population – 8 square miles (20 square kilometers) – Planned city laid out in a grid pattern – Monumental architecture in “talud-tablero” style – 15 degrees, 25 minutes east of north – N/S Avenue of the Dead – 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) – Bisected by E/W Avenue of same length – Northern arm runs from the Pyramid of the Moon PAST THE Pyramid of the sun TO THE Ciudadela and Quetzalcoatl Pyramid, THE HALF WAY MARK OF AVENUE OF THE DEAD

19 Teotihuacan

20 Teotihuacan (Museum Model)

21 Teotihuacan Talud-Tablero Style

22 Pyramid of the Sun 700 ft (215 m) long 200 ft (60 m) high Two layers of construction Fill =41,000,000 cu ft of sun dried brick Built over a lava tube cave – 330 ft long, 20 ft deep – Stone channels for water run into the cave

23 Teotihuacan From the Pyramid of the Moon

24 Pyramid of the Moon Six layers of construction Three ritual offerings in the foundation – One human victim – Felines – Eagles – Obsidian carvings – Greenstone carvings

25 Teotihuacan from Pyramid of the Moon

26 Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl Smaller than the other two pyramids Last monumental architecture constructed in 200 AD Seven tiered talud-tablero structure located within the Ciudadela Tableros covered with two opposing feathered serpent motifs – Mosaic headresses of warriors – Shells suggesting water context – Two serpents may be creation story Life, greenness, peace VS heat, desert, war in a primordial sea Built in a single stage 200 human sacrificial victims buried within

27 Teotihuacan Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl

28 Teotihuacan

29 Teotihuacan Human Sacrifice Two groups of eighteen young warriors with hands tied behind backs buried at north and south Near N/S burial pits smaller number of young women More warriors at E/W edges of pyramid Four corners each had the burial of an other warrior individual In the center of the pyramid, 20 victims buried with thousands of jade, shell and other types of artifacts Using calendar numbers of 18 (months) and 20 (number of days in a calendar month) Using the N/S/E/W directions related to the Mesoamerican world view of reality

30 Teotihuacan

31 Xochicalco 650 AD Step-pyramid temples Palaces Three ballcourts Sweat-baths Circular altars A cave with observatory features Free-standing sculptured stelae

32 Xochicalco

33 Xochicalco Ball Court

34 Xochicalco Feathered Serpent Temple

35 Observatory Cave

36 Xochicalco Stelae

37 Cholula 600 CE to Conquest Cholula Pyramid – Largest monument by volume in the world – 4.45 million cubic meters in volume – 450m x 450 m Excavated into the side of the pyramid

38 Cholula Museum Model

39 Cholula Pyramid with Church

40 Cholula Pyramid Interior Staircase

41 Post Classic 900 CE – 1519 CE Tula Tzintzuntzan Tenochtitlan

42 Tula 800CE – 1150 CE Tolteca Chichimeca peoples led by Mixcoatl Tribal peoples from the northwest Conflict between – Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, peaceful, against human sacrifice (Mixcoatl’s son) – Tezcatlipoca, fierce warrior god, lord of sorcerers – Quetzalcoatl flees the city, journeys to the gulf coast and sets sail to the east from which he was to return some day. – He may have gone to Yucatan, where Maya records report the arrival of Kukulcan (Feathered Serpent) who conquered Chichen Itza – Tezcatlipoca ruled Tula Traders from as far away as Nicaragua Fine craftsmen Warrior Statues “Atlantes” Chac Mool Statues (meaning unknown)

43 Tula Pyramid B

44 Atlantes on Pyramid B

45 Tula Chac Mool

46 Mosaic Helmet

47 Tzintzuntzan 1000CE – Conquest Overlooks Lake Patzcuaro P’urepechua language is not related to any other mesoamerican language Language is closer to Zuni in southwestern U.S. and Quechua in Peru Power extended throughout Michoacán and parts of modern Guanajuato, Guerrero and Jalisco states Ceremonial center with plaza on a Grand Platform Five round “yacata” pyramid structures

48 Tzintzuntzan Aerial View

49 Tzintzuntzan Yacatas

50 Stirrup Necked Vessels


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