Art Of The Ancient Mexican City Of Teotihuacan Opens At The Los Angeles County Museum Of Art

Saturday, May 5, 2018 - by Scott S. Smith

“City and Cosmos: The Arts of Teotihuacan” is on exhibit until July 16 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), focusing on the ancient city (pronounced tay-OH-tee-wah-cahn) 25 miles northeast of Mexico City, best-known for its three massive pyramids (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). It was founded about 200 B.C., partially burned around 550 A.D. (probably during an internal rebellion), and occupied as late as the 8th century. It reached its peak in 450, when its multi-ethnic population was at least 150,000 and its influence had spread widely throughout central and southern Mexico and as far as Honduras. It was in ruins when the Aztecs arrived in the Valley of Mexico around 1300 A.D. and they gave it a name, meaning “birthplace of the gods,” since they believed this was where the universe was created.

At the entry to the new special exhibition is a description of Teotihuacan’s militaristic culture and religion, which put a premium on human sacrifice to keep the cosmos in balance. Its rulers conquered the great Mayan city of Tikal in Guatemala and placed the first dynasty on the throne of Copan in Honduras. The museum notes that art helped unite the city’s diverse people and its styles were adopted by others, including architecture, iconography, jewelry, ceramics, carved obsidian and greenstone pieces, and volcanic stone sculptures.

Some of the items upfront are from a tunnel, discovered in 2003 underneath the smallest of the pyramids, which was dedicated to the Feathered Serpent god. The tunnel included sacrificial victims, hundreds of metallic spheres created for unknown purposes and a model of a landscape that included pools of liquid mercury representing lakes. The Pyramid of the Moon was said by the Aztecs to be topped by a stone figure representing the moon goddess. The Pyramid of the Sun is 246 feet high and 738 feet across, making it the third-largest in the world (number one is at Giza, Egypt, followed by the Pyramid of Cholula, near Puebla, Mexico).

The expressions on the sculptures range from frightening (such as the skeletal deity) to stoic. Some items seem to have been models for modern minimalists. One vessel, Crazy Duck, looks as it were designed by an iconoclast with a sense of humor, who gave the bird a surprised look and decorated it lavishly with seashells.

The most striking items the exhibit are the distinctive murals, with various shades of red the dominant color. Estimates are that there may have been tens of thousands painted in Teotihuacan over the centuries.

The most exciting field in global archaeology now is in the Western Hemisphere, where much is left to explore, including dozens of ancient cities in jungles that have been located, but left virtually untouched. Much remains to be done even at tourist destinations like Teotihuacan (the inside of the Pyramid of the Sun has never been fully excavated).

LACMA is open daily except Wednesday 323/857-6180 www.LACMA.org.


Tennessee Tourism Round Up: February Events

Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater Extends Special Run Of Climbing Film Free Solo Through February

Tennessee State Parks Open And Welcoming Visitors


The inaugural Tennessee Songwriters Week is the last full week of February, celebrating the foundation of the craft, recognizing past and present songwriters and paving the way for future artists ... (click for more)

There are certain accomplishments that can only be described as “singular.” These rarest of achievements are so fundamentally incredible as to be, or at least seem, unrepeatable. Fortunately, ... (click for more)

All 56 Tennessee State Parks are open and serving visitors, with numerous events and activities scheduled across the state in the coming days and weeks. “We have lots of ways to accommodate ... (click for more)


Travel

Tennessee Tourism Round Up: February Events

The inaugural Tennessee Songwriters Week is the last full week of February, celebrating the foundation of the craft, recognizing past and present songwriters and paving the way for future artists at open mic nights and sessions across the state. February also features events honoring Black History Month and unique date nights for Valentine’s Day. For a complete list of events across ... (click for more)

Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater Extends Special Run Of Climbing Film Free Solo Through February

There are certain accomplishments that can only be described as “singular.” These rarest of achievements are so fundamentally incredible as to be, or at least seem, unrepeatable. Fortunately, the cameras were rolling on June 3, 2017 when Alex Honnold secured his place in the rock climbing pantheon by scaling the 3,000-foot vertical face of Yosemite National Park’s legendary ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Sanford Found Innocent Of 2000 Strangulation Murder In East Ridge

A Criminal Court jury on Friday night found Jason Sanford not guilty in the 2000 strangulation death of an East Ridge woman. The defense put on no proof. Sanford spent two and a half years in jail awaiting trial in the Cold Case. Earlier on Friday, a Michigan man gave a deathbed statement that his first cousin had admitted killing Sarah Davis Perry. The jury heard ... (click for more)

Trio Charged In Armed Robbery Of Dunkin Doughnuts On Highway 58

Three men have been charged with the robbery of the Dunkin Doughnuts on Highway 58 on Wednesday night. Charged with aggravated robbery were Justin Marcus Brakefield, 29, of 7310 Standifer Gap Road, Demarketh King, 30, of 4613 Locksley Lane, and Xavior Travon Robinson, 18, of 3606 Locksley Lane. An employee said three males walked into the business through a back door that ... (click for more)

Opinion

Bill Passes Senate That Preserves Tennessee's Natural Beauty And Historical Sites

This week, the U.S. Senate passed sweeping legislation that will preserve Tennessee’s natural beauty and protect our historical sites. I have seen first-hand how a popular park or museum can provide a recreation or educational experience for Tennesseans. But these sites can also help local economies by attracting tourism, which brings with it jobs and tax dollars to Tennessee. ... (click for more)

How Do We Progress With This President? - And Response (2)

I try so hard to not say things detrimental to our government, I love my country but I am so ashamed by the president we now tolerate. When is it going to be said enough is enough? Today, he declared an emergency declaration to move billions of dollars of possible worthy endeavors in our countries budget to fight illegal immigration to build his wall. I will compare 20 to 1 the ... (click for more)