Landscape and Power in Ancient Mesoamerica

Rex Koontz; Kathryn Reese-Taylor; Annabeth Headrick

First Edition • May 1, 2001 • 410 pages

Print ISBN: 9780813337326 • $55.00 USD$44.99 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780786742455 • $36.99 USD$42.99 CAN


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From the early cities in the second millennium BC to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan on the eve of the Spanish conquest, Ancient Mesoamericans created landscapes full of meaning and power in the center of their urban spaces. The sixteenth century description of Tenochtitlan by Bernal Diaz del Castillo and the archaeological remnants of Teotihuacan attest to the power and centrality of these urban configurations in Ancient Mesoamerican history. In Landscape and Power in Ancient Mesoamerica, Rex Koontz, Kathryn Reese-Taylor, and Annabeth Headrick explore the cultural logic that structured and generated these centers. Through case studies of specific urban spaces and their meanings, the authors examine the general principles by which the Ancient Mesoamericans created meaningful urban space. In a profoundly interdisciplinary exchange involving both archaeologists and art historians, this volume connects the symbolism of those landscapes, the performances that activated this symbolism, and the cultural poetics of these ensembles.

Rex Koontz teaches art history at the University of Texas at El Paso, and he is the author of essays on Ancient Mesoamerica, contemporary US-Mexico Border art, and non-Western aesthetics.

Kathryn Reese-Taylor teaches archaeology at the University of Calgary, and she is the author of several articles on the pre-Hispanic Maya.

Annabeth Headrick teaches art history at Vanderbilt University where she holds the position of Mellon Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Fine Arts. She has published on the iconography of Ancient Mesoamerican art.

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“The essays featured in Landscape and Power in Ancient Mesoamerica are highly original, with fresh insights and contributions. In view of the broad range of approaches and topics, this volume would be of use to a wide range of readers.”
— Karl Taube, professor of anthropology, University of California at Riverside

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