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.


Summer Of Blockbuster Nostalgia Continues At IMAX With E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

#WalkerRocks Selfie Trail Invites Visitors To Capture And Share Walker County Destinations With The World

Rick McCormick Of Tailored Travel Receives Advanced Cruise Industry Certification


Phone home with some good news, alien aficionados: Stephen Spielberg’s beloved sci-fi classic is returning to the big screen on an epic scale. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial premieres at the Tennessee ... (click for more)

Thousands of people visit Walker County each year, spending time at popular outdoor attractions like Rock City Gardens, the Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail and McLemore. These and other scenic ... (click for more)

Rick McCormick, a Cleveland resident and travel agent with Tailored Travel, has achieved Cruise Lines International Association’s masters-level designation for cruise travel counselors. Mr. ... (click for more)



Travel

Summer Of Blockbuster Nostalgia Continues At IMAX With E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Phone home with some good news, alien aficionados: Stephen Spielberg’s beloved sci-fi classic is returning to the big screen on an epic scale. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial premieres at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater on Thursday, Aug. 11. Digitally remastered and optimized for viewing on the giant, six-story IMAX screen, the film’s return to theaters is a once-in-a-lifetime ... (click for more)

#WalkerRocks Selfie Trail Invites Visitors To Capture And Share Walker County Destinations With The World

Thousands of people visit Walker County each year, spending time at popular outdoor attractions like Rock City Gardens, the Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail and McLemore. These and other scenic destinations are now linked on a new selfie trail developed by the Walker County Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee. The #WalkerRocks Selfie Trail features nearly a dozen prime locations ... (click for more)

Breaking News

16-Year-Old Shot And Killed On 7th Avenue Friday Evening

A 16-year-old boy was shot and killed outside a residence on 7th Avenue just before 5 p.m. on Friday. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Police were advised that a vehicle pulled up to a residence and began firing. Police are investigating but suspect leads are unclear at this time. Chattanooga Police ask anyone with any information regarding ... (click for more)

Largest Federal DOT Grant In UTC History to Make Downtown Chattanooga An Electric Vehicle Testbed

Chattanooga will be home to the nation’s largest electric vehicle “living testbed,” thanks to $9.2 million in funding for a project proposed by the city and scientists at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with municipal, private industry and research partners. Funding will come from a $4.5-million U.S. Department of Transportation grant award—the single-largest of ... (click for more)

Opinion

Neighbors Unite To Express Concerns About New Apartment Complex

Response to: Neighbors to Planned 708-Unit Apartment Complex Register Their Disapproval Clarifying the Record As a member of the large group who gathered to express their concerns about the proposed 708-unit apartment complex, I am writing to express my appreciation for and pride in our community. Our community is primarily made up of small, diverse, and unorganized neighborhoods. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Freaks Of College Football

It has been almost 20 years since Bruce Feldman, a marvelous sportswriter for theathletic.com and Fox Sports, came up with the idea of identifying the “Freaks” of college football. Wait, being called a freak is a good thing, a very good thing, on a football team. It means you are so strong or so fast or so “athletic” that your own teammates and coaches stand in awe, be it in the ... (click for more)