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Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records
The Chalcatzingo reliefs: an iconographic
Published in: if part or section of a book or monograph
Ancient Chalcatzingo, edited by David C.
Published By: Original publisher
Ancient Chalcatzingo, edited by David C.
Austin: University of Texas Press, 1987. 132-158
By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication
Jorge Angulo V. ; TAKUHÓN illustrations by
HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.:
HRAF, 2000. Computer File
Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis.
Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF
Visual arts (5311);
Mnemonic devices (211);
Comparative evidence (171);
Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document
Angulo tackles the iconography of the carved
stone monuments at the highland site of Chalcatzingo, taking a direct historical
approach that, in this case, follows the 'Mother Culture' hypothesis that
subsequent Mesoamerican symbolism and beliefs had their origins in Olmec culture
emanating from the Gulf Coast core area. Carvings on rock outcroppings and
boulders that portray mythical-religious themes emphasizing zoomorphic
representations probably pertain to the Middle Formative period. Stelae that
feature important persons, ritual events and even texts were placed on man-made
terraces and may be Late Formative period in date. Analysis emphasizes motifs
rather than overall composition, although motifs tend to be repetitive within
the monument groups defined in Grove: 1987 (Document 12). A unifying theme in
one group is taken to be related to the seasonality of rain critical to
agricultural production, with cosmological and meteorological phenomena
represented by animal figures that also could have been totems of clans
participating in ritual cycles at the site. Another group is interpreted as
representing a mythological cycle involving feline avatars, hero twins, Venus,
the death and rebirth of the sun in its daily circuit through a watery
underworld, and the possible sacrifice of war captives to perpetuate the cosmos;
precursors of common themes in later Mesoamerican myth and ritual. A small
number of carvings likely depict the ball game, with its ritual paraphernalia
and cosmographic references. Stelae with possible rudimentary glyphs may depict
actual important people and events, and a fragment may carry calendar glyphs
with a Middle Formative period date. Defaced artwork is interpreted as a ritual
symbolizing the release of the soul of the deceased person to which they
pertained; stone monuments in the case of elites and ceramic figurines for
commoners. The work concludes with a general synthesis of native Mesoamerican
philosophical and religious beliefs not necessarily confined to the
Olmec-influenced culture at Chalcatzingo, but that may have originated with (or
at least been systematized by) the Olmec, transformed at the time of their
decline and disappearance in the Late Formative period into mass public ceremony
with more overt emphasis on temporal power.
Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents
Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits.
Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs.
Language: Language that the document is written in
English with Spanish summary
references see Grove: 1987 (Document 3).
Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document
Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data
Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection.
Leon G. Doyon ;
Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date).
Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site)
LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings