Reading Maya Art

Reading Maya Art

Author: Andrea Stone

Publisher: National Geographic Books

ISBN: 9780500051689

Category: Art

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Lavishly illustrated, fully cross-referenced and indexed: an invaluable book for anyone wishing to see and understand Maya art through the eyes of ancient scribes and artists. The art of the ancient Maya may be considered their most singular cultural achievement. Yet despite a surge of popular interest in these remarkable people, few are fully aware of the richness of their artistic legacy, unique in all of pre-Columbian America. Maya art is a rare combination of linear elegance and naturalism blended with dazzling symbolic complexity. Decorated objects, ranging from painted vases and carved jade and shell ornaments to towering stone monuments and building facades, bear the traces of a symbol system that, while fascinating, can make an understanding of these images elusive to the uninitiated. Presented here for the first time is a compendium of one hundred hieroglyphs that are also the building blocks of ancient Maya painting and sculpture. Organized thematically, the symbols touch on many facets of the Maya world, from the natural environment—animals, plants, the heavens—to the mental landscape of gods, myths, and rituals. Using hundreds of line drawings and photographs, Andrea Stone and Marc Zender show how to identify these signs, understand their meaning, and appreciate the novel ways they appear in art. In addition to providing a basic introduction, the authors also offer many new and exciting interpretations.

Lives of the Gods: Divinity in Maya Art

Lives of the Gods: Divinity in Maya Art

Author: Joanne Pillsbury

Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art

ISBN: 9781588397317

Category: Art

Page: 251

View: 415

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An introduction to the complex stories of Mesoamerican divinity through the carvings, ceramics, and metalwork of the Maya Classic period Lives of the Gods reveals how ancient Maya artists evoked a pantheon as rich and complex as the more familiar Greco-Roman, Hindu-Buddhist, and Egyptian deities. Focusing on the period between A.D. 250 and 900, the authors show how this powerful cosmology informed some of the greatest creative achievements of Maya civilization.

Reading the Maya Glyphs 2e

Reading the Maya Glyphs 2e

Author: Michael D Coe

Publisher: National Geographic Books

ISBN: 9780500285534

Category: History

Page: 0

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The breaking of the Maya code has completely changed our knowledge of this ancient civilization, and has revealed the Maya people's long and vivid history. Decipherment of Maya hieroglyphic writing has progressed to the point where most Maya written texts—whether inscribed on monuments, written in the codices, or painted or incised on ceramics—can now be read with confidence. In this practical guide, first published in 2001, Michael D. Coe, the noted Mayanist, and Mark Van Stone, an accomplished calligrapher, have made the difficult, often mysterious script accessible to the nonspecialist. They decipher real Maya texts, and the transcriptions include a picture of the glyph, the pronunciation, the Maya words in Roman type, and the translation into English. For the second edition, the authors have taken the latest research and breakthroughs into account, adding glyphs, updating captions, and reinterpreting or expanding upon earlier decipherments. After an introductory discussion of Maya culture and history and the nature of the Maya script, the authors introduce the glyphs in a series of chapters that elaborate on topics such as the intricate calendar, warfare, royal lives and rituals, politics, dynastic names, ceramics, relationships, and the supernatural world. The book includes illustrations of historic texts, a syllabary, a lexicon, and translation exercises.

Maya Art and Architecture

Maya Art and Architecture

Author: Mary Ellen Miller

Publisher: National Geographic Books

ISBN: 9780500204221

Category: Art

Page: 0

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“In addition to serving as an introduction to Maya art, the book communicates enthusiasm for the art’s aesthetic power and grace.” —Choice Rewritten and updated to include the discoveries and new theories from the past decade and a half, this classic guide to the art of the ancient Maya is now illustrated in color throughout. World expert Mary Miller and her co-author Megan O’Neil take the reader through the visual world of the Maya, explaining how and why they created the paintings, sculpture, and monuments that intrigue and compel people the world over. With an array of new material, including the newly found La Corona panels, Waka’ figurines, and the Dz’ibanche’ staircase; studies of the monuments at Palenque, Zotz, and elsewhere; and paintings discovered in recent years; this new edition will be essential reading for students and scholars—and for travelers to the cities of this mysterious civilization.

Maya Narrative Arts

Maya Narrative Arts

Author: Karen Bassie-Sweet

Publisher: University Press of Colorado

ISBN: 9781607327424

Category: Social Science

Page: 321

View: 485

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In Maya Narrative Arts, authors Karen Bassie-Sweet and Nicholas A. Hopkins present a comprehensive and innovative analysis of the principles of Classic Maya narrative arts and apply those principles to some of the major monuments of the site of Palenque. They demonstrate a recent methodological shift in the examination of art and inscriptions away from minute technical issues and toward the poetics and narratives of texts and the relationship between texts and images. Bassie-Sweet and Hopkins show that both visual and verbal media present carefully planned narratives, and that the two are intimately related in the composition of Classic Maya monuments. Text and image interaction is discussed through examples of stelae, wall panels, lintels, benches, and miscellaneous artifacts including ceramic vessels and codices. Bassie-Sweet and Hopkins consider the principles of contrast and complementarity that underlie narrative structures and place this study in the context of earlier work, proposing a new paradigm for Maya epigraphy. They also address the narrative organization of texts and images as manifested in selected hieroglyphic inscriptions and the accompanying illustrations, stressing the interplay between the two. Arguing for a more holistic approach to Classic Maya art and literature, Maya Narrative Arts reveals how close observation and reading can be equally if not more productive than theoretical discussions, which too often stray from the very data that they attempt to elucidate. The book will be significant for Mesoamerican art historians, epigraphers, linguists, and archaeologists.

Art and Myth of the Ancient Maya

Art and Myth of the Ancient Maya

Author: Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300224672

Category: Art

Page: 304

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This nuanced account explores Maya mythology through the lens of art, text, and culture. It offers an important reexamination of the mid-16th-century Popol Vuh, long considered an authoritative text, which is better understood as one among many crucial sources for the interpretation of ancient Maya art and myth. Using materials gathered across Mesoamerica, Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos bridges the gap between written texts and artistic representations, identifying key mythical subjects and uncovering their variations in narratives and visual depictions. Central characters—including a secluded young goddess, a malevolent grandmother, a dead father, and the young gods who became the sun and the moon—are identified in pottery, sculpture, mural painting, and hieroglyphic inscriptions. Highlighting such previously overlooked topics as sexuality and generational struggles, this beautifully illustrated book paves the way for a new understanding of Maya myths and their lavish expression in ancient art.

Unseen Art

Unseen Art

Author: Claudia Brittenham

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 9781477325971

Category: Art

Page: 188

View: 302

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In Unseen Art, Claudia Brittenham unravels one of the most puzzling phenomena in Mesoamerican art history: why many of the objects that we view in museums today were once so difficult to see. She examines the importance that ancient Mesoamerican people assigned to the process of making and enlivening the things we now call art, as well as Mesoamerican understandings of sight as an especially godlike and elite power, in order to trace a gradual evolution in the uses of secrecy and concealment, from a communal practice that fostered social memory to a tool of imperial power. Addressing some of the most charismatic of all Mesoamerican sculptures, such as Olmec buried offerings, Maya lintels, and carvings on the undersides of Aztec sculptures, Brittenham shows that the creation of unseen art has important implications both for understanding status in ancient Mesoamerica and for analyzing art in the present. Spanning nearly three thousand years of the Indigenous art of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize, Unseen Art connects the dots between vision, power, and inequality, providing a critical perspective on our own way of looking.

The Maya: A Very Short Introduction

The Maya: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Matthew Restall

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780190645045

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 684

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The Maya forged one of the greatest societies in the history of the ancient Americas and in all of human history. Long before contact with Europeans, Maya communities built spectacular cities with large, well-fed large populations. They mastered the visual arts, and developed a sophisticated writing system that recorded extraordinary knowledge in calendrics, mathematics, and astronomy. The Maya achieved all this without area-wide centralized control. There was never a single, unified Maya state or empire, but always numerous, evolving ethnic groups speaking dozens of distinct Mayan languages. The people we call "Maya" never thought of themselves as such; yet something definable, unique, and endlessly fascinating - what we call Maya culture - has clearly existed for millennia. So what was their self-identity and how did Maya civilization come to be "invented?" With the Maya historically subdivided and misunderstood in so many ways, the pursuit of what made them "the Maya" is all the more important. In this Very Short Introduction, Restall and Solari explore the themes of Maya identity, city-state political culture, art and architecture, the Maya concept of the cosmos, and the Maya experience of contact with including invasion by outsiders. Despite its brevity, this book is unique for its treatment of all periods of Maya civilization, from its origins to the present.

The Maya Apocalypse and Its Western Roots

The Maya Apocalypse and Its Western Roots

Author: Matthew Restall

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9781538154991

Category: History

Page: 169

View: 192

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"Offers an accessible readable survey of apocalyptic thinking in two civilizations-Western and Maya-driven by a clear and compelling argument. The authors explore why end-of-times anxiety and anticipation is so deeply rooted and persistent in Western civilization"--

Translating Maya Hieroglyphs

Translating Maya Hieroglyphs

Author: Scott A.J. Johnson

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

ISBN: 9780806189406

Category: History

Page: 410

View: 706

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Maya hieroglyphic writing may seem impossibly opaque to beginning students, but scholar Scott A. J. Johnson presents it as a regular and comprehensible system in this engaging, easy-to-follow textbook. The only comprehensive introduction designed specifically for those new to the study, Translating Maya Hieroglyphs uses a hands-on approach to teach learners the current state of Maya epigraphy. Johnson shows readers step by step how to translate ancient Maya glyphs. He begins by describing how to break down a Mayan text into individual glyphs in the correct reading order, and then explains the different types of glyphs and how they function in the script. Finally, he shows how to systematically convert a Mayan inscription into modern English. Not simply a reference volume, Translating Maya Hieroglyphs is pedagogically arranged so that it functions as an introductory foreign-language textbook. Chapters cover key topics, including spelling, dates and numbers, basic grammar, and verbs. Formal linguistic information is accessibly explained, while worksheets and exercises complement and reinforce the material covered in the text. Glyph blocks and phrases drawn from actual monuments illustrate the variety and scribal virtuosity of Maya writing. The Maya writing system has not been fully deciphered. Throughout the text, Johnson outlines and explains the outstanding disputes among Mayanists. At the end of each chapter, he offers sources for further reading. Helpful appendices provide quick reference to vocabulary, glyph meanings, and calendrical data for students undertaking a translation. The study of Maya glyphs has long been an arcane subject known only to a few specialists. This book will change that. Taking advantage of the great strides scholars have made in deciphering hieroglyphs in the past four decades, Translating Maya Hieroglyphs brings this knowledge to a broader audience, including archaeologists and budding epigraphers.

Breath and Smoke

Breath and Smoke

Author: Jennifer Loughmiller-Cardinal

Publisher: University of New Mexico Press

ISBN: 9780826360939

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 854

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From Classical antiquity to the present, tobacco has existed as a potent ritual substance. Tobacco use among the Maya straddles a recreational/ritual/medicinal nexus that can be difficult for Western audiences to understand. To best characterize the pervasive substance, this volume assembles scholars from a variety of disciplines and specialties to discuss tobacco in modern and ancient contexts. The chapters utilize research from archaeology, ethnography, mythic narrative, and chemical science from the eighth through the twenty-first centuries. Breath and Smoke explores the uses of tobacco among the Maya of Central America, revealing tobacco as a key topic in pre-Columbian art, iconography, and hieroglyphics. By assessing and considering myths, imagery, hieroglyphic texts, and material goods, as well as modern practices and their somatic effects, this volume brings the Mayan world of the past into greater focus and sheds light on the practices of today.

The Life Within

The Life Within

Author: Stephen Houston

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300196023

Category: Art

Page: 209

View: 682

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Beautifully written and illustrated, The Life Within is the first full study of the vitality and materiality of Classic Maya art and writing and the quest for transcendence and immortality.