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The Art of Mesoamerica
Book Review by Mark Cartwright

The Art of Mesoamerica

Another wonderfully informative book from the World of Art series. This one makes a marvelous introduction to Mesoamerica as not only does it cover the fascinating and utterly distinctive art of civilizations such as the Maya, Aztecs and...
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Blog by James Blake Wiener

Meet the Tarascans: Fierce Foes of the Aztecs

At the time of the Spanish conquest of Mexico (1519-1521 CE), two empires dominated the political and cultural landscape of Mesoamerica: the Aztec Empire and the relatively unknown Tarascan State. The Tarascans were the archenemies of the...
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Blog by James Blake Wiener

The Aztecs of Ancient Mexico

Around 1325 CE, southward migrating Mexicas or "Aztecs" came upon an island in Lake Texcoco, located in the highlands of Central Mexico. On this spot, they consecrated a temple and founded their capital city -- the legendary Tenochtitlán...
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Blog by James Blake Wiener

Madrid's Hidden Gem: Museo de América

Last month, I had the chance to visit a hidden gem among Madrid's better-known museums: Museo de América (English: Museum of the Americas). Filled with thousands of pre-Columbian artifacts, treasures, and works of art, the Museo de América...
Aztec Art
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Aztec Art

The Aztec Empire, centred at the capital of Tenochtitlan, dominated most of Mesoamerica in the 15th and 16th centuries CE. With military conquest and trade expansion the art of the Aztecs also spread, helping the Aztecs achieve a cultural...
Maya Civilization
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Maya Civilization

The Maya are an indigenous people of Mexico and Central America who have continuously inhabited the lands comprising modern-day Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas in Mexico and southward through Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador...
Religion in the Ancient World
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Religion in the Ancient World

Religion (from the Latin Religio, meaning 'restraint,' or Relegere, according to Cicero, meaning 'to repeat, to read again,' or, most likely, Religionem, 'to show respect for what is sacred') is an organized system...
Maya Architecture
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Maya Architecture

Maya architecture is best characterized by the soaring pyramid temples and ornate palaces which were built in all Maya centres across Mesoamerica from El Tajin in the north to Copan in the south. The Maya civilization was formed of independent...
Aztec Sacrifice
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Aztec Sacrifice

The religion of the Aztec civilization which flourished in ancient Mesoamerica (1345-1521 CE) has gained an infamous reputation for bloodthirsty human sacrifice with lurid tales of the beating heart being ripped from the still-conscious victim...
Mosaic
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Mosaic

Mosaics are designs and images created using small pieces (tessrae) of stone or other materials which have been used to decorate floors, walls, ceilings, and precious objects since before written records began. Like pottery, mosaics...