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New & Forthcoming Titles | Pre-Columbian Landscapes of Creation and Origin

Pre-Columbian Landscapes of Creation and Origin

Staller, John (Ed.)

2008, XII, 389 p.

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  • Includes case studies of specific geographic areas to provide a comprehensive overview of the wider Mesoamerican region
  • Condenses and explains evidence from found objects, rock carvings, historical accounts, and sacred texts
  • Interdisciplinary scope relevant to archaeology, anthropology, art history, sociology, landscape and cultural studies

Pre-Columbian Landscapes of Creation and Origin
Edited by John Edward Staller, The Field Museum, Chicago, IL

Pre-Columbian Andean and Mesoamerican cultures have inspired a special fascination among historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, as well as the general public. As two of the earliest known and studied civilizations, their origin and creation mythologies hold a special interest. The existing and Pre-Columbian cultures from these regions are particularly known for having a strong connection with the natural landscape, and weaving it into their mythologies. A landscape approach to archaeology in these areas is uniquely useful shedding insight into their cultural beliefs, practices, and values.The ways in which these cultures imbued their landscape with symbolic significance influenced the settlement of the population, the construction of monuments, as well as their rituals and practices.

This edited volume combines research on Pre-Columbian cultures throughout Mesoamerica and South America, examining their constructed monuments and ritual practices. It explores the foundations of these cultures, through both the creation mythologies of ancient societies as well as the tangible results of those beliefs. It offers insight on specific case studies, combining evidence from the archaeological record with sacred texts and ethnohistoric accounts. The patterns developed throughout this work shed insight on the effect that perceived sacredness can have on the development of culture and society.

This comprehensive and much-needed work will be of interest to archaeologists and anthropologists focused on Pre-Columbian studies, as well as those in the fields of cultural or religious studies with a broader geographic focus.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Cultural Studies - John E Staller - Landscape Studies - Mesoamerica - Mythology - South America - mayans

Related subjects » Anthropology & Archaeology - Ecology - Geology

Table of contents 

Ballcourt Rites, Paradise, and the Origins of Power in Classic Veracruz.- Landscape and a Visual Narrative of Creation and Origin at the Olmec Ceremonial Center of La Venta.- Maya Caves Across Time and Space.- Places of Emergence: Sacred Mountains and Cofradía Ceremonies.- Over Distant Waters: Places of Origin and Creation in Colonial K'iche'an Sources.- Fox Walker on the Parapeti River, Bolivia: The Origins of How We Guarani Live in Íví.- Where the Land and the Ocean Meet: The Engoroy Phase Ceremonial Site at Salango, Ecuador, 600–100BC.- The Astronomical Significance of Ritual Movements in the Calendar of Cuzco.- Dimensions of Place: The Significance of Centers to the Development of Andean Civilization: An Exploration of the Ushnu Concept.- High Altitude Ushnu Platforms in the Department of Ayacucho Peru, Structure, Ancestors and Animating Essence.- Representation, Memory, and Power: Pre-Columbian Landscapes of Creation and Origin.

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