Monday, March 11, 2019

Exploring the Sacred Landscapes of Peru

Speaker of the Month
March 31, 2019
Dr. Jo Ellen Burkholder 

In this talk by Dr. Jo Ellen Burkholder we will be transported to the majestic Andes Mountains of southern Peru and the impressive deserts and valleys that flank them on the Pacific Coast. We will get a chance to consider what defines sacred places and how they can be recognized by the special ways in which they use space. Using examples from her field work in Arequipa, Peru she will illustrate how we can begin to understand ancient sacred geographies and landscapes through archaeological and geographical analyses. Special attention will be given to two small temples she  excavated at the site of Pisanay and how these two locations play a role in the sacred landscape surrounding the site.

About Our Speaker:
Jo Ellen Burkholder, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, and the Coordinator for Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. Over the last 20 years she has been conducting research in the Southern Andes of Peru and Bolivia. Her work has concentrated on the expressions of social identity (particularly gender and ethnicity) in the ancient Andes using pottery and funerary art, architecture, and uses of the landscape as markers of social cohesion and differences. She has recently identified new images of child birth and mothering in ancient Peruvian arts and begun to explore the ways in which complex societies used architecture and infrastructure to disseminate and manipulate ideas about where and what is sacred.  In addition to her academic work, she is a recently published fiction author (Red Phoenix: An Olivia Crane Novel), an accomplished yogi, and budding aerialist.

The CAS will meet at 3:00pm for a social period, with the lecture beginning at 3:30pm at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington. Meetings are open to the public and free of charge.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Looking Ahead to April

Join us on April 28, 2019 at 3:00 pm for a lecture by Dr. Mark Wagner
The Discovery of Lewis and Clark’s
Long-Lost Outpost of Fort Kaskaskia

Evanston Public Library • Community Meeting •  1703 Orrington Ave
Bound to the Western Waters:

Palimpsest Notes

From Bob Stelton

IAAA Annual Meeting
IAAA advises that the date of the Annual Meeting is May 18-19. This conflicts with our CAS May meeting of May 19. Rescheduling in May is a problem even if possible. But I believe members will decide individually.

Summer Safaris
A decision was made was made by the CAS Board scheduling a Summer Safari to the Chicago History Museum. The tentative date and time is 10:00 am June 15.  Any thoughts?
The board discussed the possibility for a 2nd metropolitan safari in late summer. The Newberry Library was mentioned because the Popol Vuh is among ancient and important books in the Newberry collection.

Holiday Luncheon
December 8 is the holiday date for the traditional holiday. During the past two years the occasion was celebrated as a pizza party. After two years the Board indicated desire for a change and the CAS will be checking out possibilities for a catered affair. Now we want to hear from you. Out there in a cloud is a member anxious to become our holiday chair—you know what a chair does—the chair gets someone else to do the work! Please step forward. We need your help finding a caterer and deciding upon dishes to be featured.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

A Meeting with the Speaking Stones of La Mojarra Monument 1

Arnold Talk in February Escorts Members into the Ancient Political Past of Mexico 
~ report by Bob Stelton ~

Loyola Professor Philip Arnold spends his summers and some holidays in Veracruz pursuing connections between several archaeological sites such as Matacanela, Totocapan, and Piedra Librada. And he is finding connections between these sites more interesting than influences from other Mayan or Teotihuacan sites. One example that he taught us about was the connections between the Tuxtla Statuette and Stela 1 at Mojarra. The Tuxtla Statuette of a bird beaked (or masked) figure has several glyphs and a Maya-looking long count date of March 162 AD. The Mojarra Stela 1 has two dates: one is 143 and the other 156, both within 20 years of each other. Other features can be compared.

The Mojarra Stela has a lengthy text, but the glyphs and the dates on both sculptures seem to validate each other. The text is Epi-Olmec or Isthmian and is related to the MixeZoque.  The elders of a local family remembered much of a similar language that was helpful to epigraphers. It is about Harvest Mountain Lord, blood-letting and decapitation when taken captive. Certain mountains are in view of both sites. To learn more about the text, you can find online Epi-Olmec Hieroglyphic Writing by Terrance Kaufman and John Juteson. It is fascinating, but you will need about a year to understand it. https:// EOTEXTS.pdf

One can also look at the image of a ruler on the stela and try to figure out the accompanying imagery.  A “Fish-Monster” head seems to adorn the ruler’s head and the body trails down beside him. What has been identified as a fin at the top has suggested a large serrated knife to Prof. Arnold. While at another site he and another archaeologist witnessed a farmer plowing his field, who turned up a twosided flat piece of rock. They found two more pieces that fit together forming the image of a large serrated knife!

Dr. Arnold thinks that sometimes what we think is wrong, but it leads to more investigation. It turns out to be good. He explained so much that we would need several more pages to cover everything we learned from his informative and witty presentation.

The CAS thanks you, Dr. Arnold, and hopes to follow your progress as your history of conversations with La Mojarra Monument is expanded.