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Jihwan Lee - Per. 1

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Jihwan Lee

on 29 January 2013

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Transcript of Jihwan Lee - Per. 1

•The Temple of Quetzalcoatl, a complex that presents sculptured panels and low reliefs of the feathered serpent, also signifies inhabitants' value of water.
•Pyramid of the Sun also contains numerous chambers in a tunnel-like cave, which symbolizes the "womb" from which the first humans came into the world. The structures reflect the creation myth and predominance of religion in the city’s society, as Teotihuacan possibly could have been theocratic. The city alignment’s astronomical significance:
•The entire complex of Teotihuacán is aligned astronomically.
•The city is approximately at constant 25 degrees east of the accurate north. The front wall of the Pyramid of the Sun is precisely perpendicular to the point on the horizon where the sun sets on the equinoxes.
•The rest of the city’s structures were constructed to be at 90 degrees with the Pyramid of the Sun. FORMAL ANALYSIS Teotihuacan is constructed in a grid system that is quartered by a north-south and an east-west axis. CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS Provenance; Regional influence on style:
•The abundance of obsidians - imperative volcanic stones- near Teotihuacan brought significant wealth into the city, thus facilitating the city’s growth as a prevalent center for trade and commerce. The wealth brought population growth and organization of the city as a complex urban grid filled with single- and multi-floor apartment compounds, thus a multi-family dwellings. TEOTIHUACAN "A PLACE WHERE GODS WERE BORN" Background (continued) -The City is located near today’s Mexico City at the Basin of Mexico; specifically at San Juan Teotihuacán municipality today. - Aztecs around 1320 gave Teotihuacán its name: “The city of the gods” -The early constructors of this city, specific religious beliefs and language are unidentified.
-Speculated constructors and influencers of the city include Totonac, Zaptec, or Mixtec people. There is only little information about the city inhabitants except that they:
-Were formidable warriors
-Took importance in sacrificial rituals
-Believed in an apocalypse that motivated their human sacrifices
-Influenced the Mesoamerica as a powerful political, military, economic and cultural center -Evidences suggest that Teotihuacan was a multi-ethnic city
-Distinct quarters were designated for different ethnic groups such as Otomi, Zapotec, Mixtec, Maya and Nahua peoples BACKGROUND (continued) -Its construction process ranged from 100 BCE to 750 CE and its imperative structures such as temple of the sun was built between 50 and 250 CE.
-The city lasted around until 7th to 8th CE. The city was built between both the periods of Preclassic (2000 BCE – 300 BCE) and Classic (300 – 900 CE) Mesoamerica. Since the iconography of the gods in Teotihuacan is the same as in Aztec, the gods of Teotihuacan are called by the same names as the Aztec gods. Primary Deities Quetzalcoatl:

The Feathered Serpent Tlaloc:
the Storm god,
the god of rain
and fertility

the fire god Xipe Totec: "Our Lord the Flayed One", associated with renewed vegetation -The city was abandoned and destroyed by fire around 7th and 8th CE.
-Reasons are unclear; but possible hypotheses include:
•internal uprising
•malnutrition. Major structures in the city of Teotihuacan Names of the major features are Aztec designations; because of deciphered hieroglyphs, the actual names are unknown.
•Pyramid of the Sun
•Pyramid of the Moon
•Palace of Quetzalcoatl
•Avenue of the Dead
•Ciudadela PYRAMID OF THE SUN PYRAMID OF THE MOON View of the Avenue of the Dead Palace of Quetzalcoatl Ciudadela Aerial View of Teotihuacan (from the north), Valley of Mexico, Mexico. Pyramid of the Moon (foreground), Pyramid of the Sun (top left), and the Citadel (background), all connected by the Avenue of the Dead; main structures ca. 50-200 CE; site ca. 100 BCE - 750 CE •The augmentation and attainment of wealth through its control of obsidian trade also brought militaristic dominance over the surrounding Mesoamerican region: prisoners from war were thus used as human sacrifices. •The profusion of local volcanic stones provided builders of the Teotihuacan complex with essential resources for construction, especially its pyramids with stacked squared platforms diminishing in perimeter from the base to the top, similar to the Stepped Pyramid of Djoser during Egypt’s Early Dynastic Periods. Religion in Teotihuacan
•Religion played a significant role in the construction of the major structures of the city.
•Public structures such as temples, pyramids, and plaza such as Ciudadela were imperative for the constant ceremonies due to the religion’s predominance in Teotihuacan’s society.
•The predominant civic architecture was the pyramid, a place for sacrifice and offerings. •Although true political system is unknown due to lack of written records, presumably the political leader was also the religious leader due to the connection between the social and religious activities: human sacrifices, appeasements to the gods to delay expected apocalypse and dedications.
•Even animals that were considered sacred - eagles, wolves, or snakes- were buried to express allegiances to the gods Influences by the periodic style:
•The city was built between both the periods of Preclassic (2000 BCE – 300 BCE) and Classic (300 – 900 CE) Mesoamerica, two periodic styles that amply influenced Teotihuacan’s development and structures. •Teotihuacan pyramids – Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon- express the Preclassic Mesoamerica period’s emergences of public art and monumental architecture and Late Preclassic period’s development of large pyramidal structures. Preclassic Olmec structures also feature such pyramidal constructions similar to the Preclassic Olmec structures, such as the Great Pyramid at La Venta, a structure built to emphasize spectacular displays of power and wealth and for ceremonial and religious utilizations. Pyramid of the Sun by the Teotihuacanos also utilized the pyramid for religious sacrifices and as a place for ceramic offerings. -The time of city’s rise to prominence coincided with the classical Rome and with Mexico’s rising cultures in Yucatán Peninsula, Oaxaca, and Puebla. There are absences of inscriptions that state Teotihuacan’s rulers’ names or testimonies to their achievements.
Contrast to Maya civilization: Maya’s dynastic history is well-known and carefully written on steles with glorifications of its rulers and records of important events. Preclassic Maya Stele •Distinctive elements such as human sacrifices and importance of gods’ roles in society that developed during the Preclassic period necessitated construction of pyramidal structures.
•Teotihuacan was also an early user of the layout of temple-pyramid-plaza in Mesoamerica. Historians are unsure whether Teotihuacan imitated its skilled works in arts and architecture, but many archaeologists suggest artisans of Teotihuacan influenced the surrounding Mesoamerica.
•Teotihuacan’s development of mural paintings, pottery, and sculptural reliefs reflected the Classic period in Mesoamerica’s growing sophistication in architecture and art. •The Avenue of the Dead directs itself towards the setting of the Pleiades, an open star cluster.
•Similar to the pyramids during the Old Kingdom Egypt, the astronomical significance of the complex suggest Teotihuacan’s importance of celestial inspiration. The buildings refer to its deities and thus reflect its important religious ceremonies. Natural symbolism in major structures:
•Structures in Teotihuacan constantly reference to water, a valuable component for the inhabitants due to their preoccupation with agricultural fertility and rainfall as reflected in their sacrificial endeavors.
•Pyramid of the Sun especially may have been built over a sacred spring and may symbolize and literally imitate the shape of Cerro Gordo, a volcanic mountain that provides water streams for the survival of the city •Murals are predominantly centered on two deities: Tlaloc, the storm god and the Great Goddess.
•The Great Goddess is frequently portrayed frontally and symbolizes agricultural fertility: agricultural prosperity was significantly valued in the society in Teotihuacan.
•Animals such as jaguars and owls were also depicted in the murals, which were sacred to the city’s culture. The worship of certain animals reflect back on its deities with animal forms such as the feathered serpent. Mural Paintings:
•Mural Paintings of Teotihuacan once vibrantly covered the city and they depicted the city’s deities, ritual activities, and processions.
•Color red dominates the color scheme of the murals, although other colors appear as well. The murals are also linear and flat and painted on a plaster medium with good preservation using true fresco techniques.
•The murals' iconography and symbolism constitute a source for understanding the city's religion and social organization. Cerro Gordo The Great Goddess Tlaloc Jaguar Mural Jihwan Lee Per. 1 Works Cited
Berrin, Kathleen; and Esther Pasztory (1993). Teotihuacan: Art from the City of the Gods. New York: Thames and Hudson.
Millon, René (1993). "The Place Where Time Began: An Archaeologist's Interpretation of What Happened in Teotihuacan History". In Berrin, Kathleen and Esther Pasztory (Eds.). Teotihuacan: Art from the City of the Gods. New York: Thames and Hudson. pp. 16–43.
"Pre-Hispanic Cultures." Art Destinations. Universe in Universe, Oct. 2010. Web. 28 Jan. 2013. <http://universes-in-universe.org/eng/art_destinations/mexico/tour/teotihuacan>.
"Teotihuacan." Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Web. 19 Jan. 2013. <http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/teot/hd_teot.htm>.
"Teotihuacán, Mexico City." Sacred Arts. Sacred Destinations, 29 Oct. 2009. Web. 19 Jan. 2013. <http://www.sacred-destinations.com/mexico/teotihuacan>. BACKGROUND: WHAT IS IT? An enormous, complex city that became the largest and most populous urban center in the New World during its time
6th largest city during its period
Contains some of the largest pyramidal buildings in Mesoamerica
Also renowned for its colorful murals and thin orange pottery
The Giza Pyramids are perfectly oriented like the three stars of the Orion belt. Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc
at Temple of Quetzalcoatl Great Pyramid at La Venta
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