I will illustrate this last posting of my Teotihuacán series with photos showing the work of some of those ancient artisans. All of these pieces can be found at the archeological site's two museums.
Censers were devices for burning incense, usually copal, and were closely associated both with the altars found both in public spaces and private homes.
resemblance to a swastika. The emblem did not then possess the evil association it gained from modern Nazism. Instead, it is probably related to the four-petal flower, a symbol representing the four cardinal directions, another recurrent image at Teotihuacán.
mass production and a degree of standardization and quality control. The materials used came both from the local area and through the trade networks.
Teuchitlán Culture sculptures. The presence of this artifact at Teotihuacán indicates a trade link with the Teuchitlán Culture and raises the possibility that people from western Mexico may have been part of Teotihuacán's multi-cultural population.
El Tajin, located in Vera Cruz State near the Gulf Coast. It was the ancient capital of the Totonacs. The shape of the bowl and its tri-pod feet are in the Teotihuacán style, but the scroll-and-hook design on the side of the bowl comes from the Totonacan culture.
Cacao beans were used to make chocolate, a sacred drink reserved for the elite. In addition, dried cacao beans were often used as currency.
earliest maiz cobs yet found were located in a cave in Oaxaca and date back more than 6,000 years. Cacao is a hot-country plant, grown mostly in humid lowland areas. The earliest evidence of the consumption of cacao was found in pottery excavated from Maya sites in Honduras dating back to 1500 BC.
major industry at Teotihuacán.
a warrior who carries a shield decorated with feathers. In the foreground, a man sits beside a woman giving birth. The basket with the handle indicates he is a priest or shaman. This is the only Teotihuacán representation of child-birth that I have ever seen.
used the bones of deceased family members to create household tools and other personal items. This may have been a way of keeping a close connection with relatives who had passed into the Underworld.
used for ritual purposes and offerings may have been placed inside them. The face is painted with bright red specular hematite and there are traces of paint on other parts of the body. The hidden figure in the door of the host is believed represent the divine essence residing within each person.
classically Teotihuacán features, with narrow eyes, a broad face, and parted lips. I particularly like the vertical striations of the rock, which heighten the beauty of the sculpture.