Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Next Meeting - Archaeology of the Morton Oneota and Mississippian Site

Dr. Michael Connor Archaeology of the Morton Oneota and Mississippian Site, Fulton County, IL

On April 24, 2016, starting at 2:30pm Auditorium of the Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625 (corner of Lincoln and Montrose Avenues)

Iconic Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan was occupied by 100 BC and between AD 100 and 200 the Temple of the Sun was built. It was all over by AD 750.

In an exceptional presentation the CAS March 2016 Guest Speaker, Dr. Sarah C. Clay-ton, escorted her enthusiastic audience of more than forty on a sociopolitical historical journey to and through the heart and environs of Teotihuacan.

An Iconic view of Teotihuacan from the Temple of the Moon along the Avenue of the Dead and past the Pyramid of the Sun correctly conveys an impression of power and prestige.

Archaeological exploration posits Teotihuacan’s founding around 300 - 450 BC and its col-lapse around AD 550 – 650. The peak population of Teotihuacan has been estimated at 125,000.

The Temple of the Sun is the 3rd largest pyramid in the world eclipsed only by the Great Pyramid of Cholula and Cheop’s Pyramid at Giza [The circumference of Monks Mound, Cahokia is larger than any of the aforementioned].

When studying the world’s earliest urban states Dr. Clayton outlined a series of questions for consideration:
How did they develop?
What was the economic organization and political structure?
What was it like to live there?
Why and how did the system break down?

There was a dissolution of government. What was the sociopolitical situation? The collapse was regional. In places buildings were burned and there is evidence of violence. There was movement out of the city to out-lying communities and goods were coming into the city from outlying sites instead of the opposite. It is difficult to study the sites of the hinterland be-cause of the sprawl of Mexico City. The city at its peak was 125,000 or perhaps twice that. After the collapse they numbered only 20,000.

The leaders were excellent planners, militaristic and war-like. Their serpent pyramid held 132 carefully arranged skeletons, important captives from other places. They had been powerful. At one time they had conquered at least a part of Tikal in faraway present day Guatemala.

Archaeologists are looking at two sites, Axotlan and Chicoloapan, in the hinter-land and sifting out their relationships to the capitol.

Axotlan appears to be simi-lar to the capitol and fell just at the same time and the same way. Chicoloapan had different ritual features and their everyday objects and cookware were differ-ent and more advanced. More investigations in the areas may teach us more about the collapse of the Teotihuacan government may provide a means of cul-tural collapse elsewhere.

By Bob Stelton - Editor

Maya Blue: The chemistry of a Pre-Columbian pigment A group of chemists claim to have cracked the recipe of Maya Blue

The visitor to the Maya and their realm, whether traveling through the Yucatan, Central America, and visiting awesome Chichén Itza or via the printed pages of the early explorers — John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, is regularly awed by the archaeological trail to Lost Cities.
Catherwood’s painting of Tulum, Stephens & Catherwood, 1843.

Upon closer investigation of the Maya and their realm, broad perspective beckons the traveler to “dig” deeper! There is, for example, the mystery of Maya Blue.
The ancient Maya used a vivid, remarkably durable blue paint to cover their palace walls, co-dices, pottery and maybe even the bodies of human sacrifices who were thrown to their deaths down sacred wells. 

Now a group of chemists claim to have cracked the recipe of Maya Blue. Scientists have long known the two chief ingredients of the intense blue pigment: indigo, a plant dye that's used to-day to color denim; and palygorskite, a type of clay. But how the Maya cooked up the unfading paint remained a mystery. Has the riddle been unscrambled? 
Xultun mural & Maya Blue.

Now Spanish researchers report that they found traces of another pigment in Maya Blue, which they say gives clues about how the color was made.

At 3:30 pm, Sunday March 20, 2016 at the Evanston Public Library,1703 Orrington Av on Sunday, The CAS Guest Speaker, Dr. Thomas Higgins will address the vexing problem of Maya Blue and add more knowledge to our ever-expanding understanding of the timeless Maya.

By Bob Stelton - Editor