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Mayan Art Megathread

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Warden, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. Warden
    Skar-Veteran

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Definitely not off topic; I primarily focus on the Mayans mostly because that is where my interest is, but I have plenty of Aztec, Zapotec, and other Mesoamerican pictures throughout the thread.

    As far as the Olmecs go, I had some pictures of some of their famous stone heads somewhere within this thread. Specifically costumes for the Olmecs I don't have anything, but maybe they have modern-day recreators who dress up in costumes nowadays for tourists? There are plenty of Mayan performers out there, I wonder if their are any Olmec performers.
     
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  2. Warden
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    Warden Well-Known Member

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    So @Aginor got me thinking about the tower of Palenque and whether or not it was unique... turns out it might not be!

    IMG_0469.jpg

    1-a-p-maudslay-photogravure-palenque.jpg

    All the info I found was from this article by Jan Szymanski. Jan even states that the tower might not have even been put back together correctly, because we really can't know 100% what the tower looked like when it was complete!

    Very interesting article. Apparently the Mayans did build towers, but of course none of them are exactly alike, and there aren't really any other examples quite the same as the one at Palenque.

    More examples:

    Tower at "Puerto Rico" but not on the island of course, this Mayan site is closer to Xpujil (Mexico I believe).

    puertoricomozaic.jpg
    the-puerto-rico-tower-campeche.jpg

    Towers at Nocuchich; which has a giant stucco head on the side of it!

    Tower in 1887, as high as 9 m???

    391481_4366151993627_632153497_n.jpg

    Structure 1:

    nocuchich1.jpg


    Campeche Towers: apparently there are a bunch of them, in face some of these are considered "Rio bec" style. Possibly even some of the "tower-like" structures I have already listed on this thread, the ones that had the false temples at the top:

    view of towers.jpg

    A couple more are listed in the article. I haven't heard of these sites before, more research is required. I do know that the next Mayan tower I make will definitely have a face on the side of it!
     
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  3. Warden
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    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Also happened across another article on Jan Szymanski's website, about the Stinking Problem that would have occured at all Mayan sites. Its nothing new of course, Medieval cities had the same problem of where to put human excrement... most of it just ended up in the street. The article doesn't really solve the problem, but it does bring it up.
     
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  4. Aginor
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    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    Nice info in these posts, very cool!
     
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  5. Warden
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    Warden Well-Known Member

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    I have been looking up this place recently too again for good inspirational pictures.

    House of the Doves, at Uxmal.

    warden201704_uxmal house of the doves.jpg

    That one is actually a picture I took when I was there in person just under 2 years ago! Really neat and epic looking building, I have no clue what it may have been used for. It is know by several names, including "Quaderilateral of the Pigeons" and "House of the Birds" other variations on pigeons, birds, and doves, mostly because a huge number of birds roost in the nooks and crannies of the roof combs of the buildings.

    The rest of the pictures aren't actually mine, but are pretty great :snaphappy:

    FlowerFarm_ROW951979805.jpg

    3110.jpg

    None of the rest of these are mine either, though the first one I snapped a picture out of my book on the Mayan artist Frederick Catherwood, who visited Uxmal in the early 1800s.

    warden201801_quadrilateral of the pigeons.jpg

    temples-of-uxmal.jpg

    House of the Doves at Uxmal.JPG

    House_of_the_Doves_(16122926904).jpg

    m3_085.jpg

    uxmal-30.gif
     
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  6. Aginor
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    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    What a massive structure! It must have been huge.
    I wonder how far away the jungle was from the buildings when they were built.
    Did the people back then cut down the jungle in big areas (and the jungle has reclaimed those areas in the meantim or did they really build their sites in the midst of the jungle?
     
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  7. Warden
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    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Back then (pre 900s AD) most of the areas immediately surrounding the cities and temples would have been cleared from the jungle because it was used as farmland. Trees and shrubs were cut down to be used either as firewood or to keep the land clear, so you didn't get the "overgrown" feel that you do for modern temples, which have had the jungle creeping into them for well over a thousand years in some cases.

    Though what we think of as "Mayan Cities" nowadays is actually a lot smaller than they actually were. In modern times the only structures that have been cleared of jungle overgrowth (to make room for tourism) are the big and beautiful temple structures, or some of the major buildings and temples of the elites, priests, and nobles. Surrounding every Mayan ceremonial site is a host of smaller buildings and structures that have never been excavated or touched, simply because there isn't enough time! I read a great archaeological book on the subject (Copan: Rise and Fall of an Ancient Mayan Kingdom, David Webster, AnnCorinne Freter, Nancy Gonlin) which showed some of the information that archaeologists are able to gather from these surrounding buildings. Many of these buildings are now only solid stone foundations, having the wooden structures of the buildings themselves rotten away centuries ago.

    Here is a good picture to show just how big Mayan cities are, from Palenque:

    mapa-indicador-Palenque.png

    Link to this map here, in which the tourist talks about this concept briefly too. The city itself is pretty huge, covering the entire area around the mountainsides and along the river. But the place that tourists actually visit is the tiny spot within the red square, the only area that has been cleared of the jungle overgrowth, shown here in this picture.

    Palenque ceremonial core.jpg

    I have a lot more pictures of Mayan city-layouts on the first page of this thread, but they are all similiar in that the temple group shown in the picture is only a fraction of what the actual city used to be, because everything else is covered up by jungles. In short, the Mayans did building their cities in the midst of the jungles, but the jungles were held at bay back then by the tools and agricultural prowess of the people that lived there.



    Also fun fact: kind of like most ancient Roman ruins, Mayan cities were painted bright colors back in their heyday, mostly bright reds, but also yellows and blues. In the centuries after their abandonment noone was around to keep repainting them, and the colors have been bleached off by the sun. Some paint residue remains in the cracks, plus archaeologists can run test for it.
     
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  8. MrPampers
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    Thanks a lot!! Yeah, The problem lays in the fewer popularity of olmecs in the pop culture (compared with mayans/aztecs). You are right, in Xcaret you can find an awesome performance of mayans warriors (althought i can´t garantee historicall accuracy, but looked like a serious recreation). I will try to find some sources in olmec pottery. Also, congrats again by your threads and content!!
     
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  9. Aginor
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    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    Yeah this thread is FULL of cool information. :)
     
  10. Warden
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    If you find anything please feel free to share, we are always eager to learn more about the real-world culture!
     
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  11. Aginor
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    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    This exactly!
     
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  12. Warden
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    Cool screen-capture from a Mayan themed computer game I have never played:

    159f807dd7d977ec0527045ea155f3ed--arcade-games-pc-games.jpg
     
  13. Warden
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    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Quotes from my painting thread on the Tikal Temple of the Jaguar, plus more pictures:

    jaguartemple.jpg
    Tikal_temple_1_2009u.JPG

    Jungle Panorama:

    W0815-Tikal-FeaturePage.jpg

    From the base of the temple, not my picture though I hope to go someday! :D

    IMG_3514.jpg

    And a real jaguar at Tikal!

    RF00051lg.jpg

    Probably a fake photo, but it came up on a search :rolleyes:

    Again, more info on this temple and the rest of the temples of Tikal here.
     

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