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El Tajín — Veracruz — México

El Tajín — Veracruz — México

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El Tajín é um sítio arqueológico pré-colombiano e uma das maiores e mais importantes cidades da era clássica da Mesoamérica. Uma parte da cultura clássica de Veracruz. O sítio arqueológico é conhecido pelos Totonacs locais, cujos ancestrais também podem ter construído a cidade, como El Tajín, que se dizia significar "de trovão ou relâmpago". Relacionado a isso está a crença de que doze antigas divindades da tempestade, conhecidas como Tajín, ainda habitam as ruínas.
El Tajín foi declarado Patrimônio da Humanidade em 1992, por sua importância histórica, arquitetura e engenharia. "Sua arquitetura, única na Mesoamérica, é caracterizada por elaborados relevos esculpidos nas colunas e frisos. A 'Pirâmide dos Nichos', uma obra-prima da antiga arquitetura mexicana e americana, revela o significado astronômico e simbólico dos edifícios." O sítio é um dos mais importantes do México e o mais importante do estado de Veracruz.
O povo Totonac residia nas regiões costeiras orientais e montanhosas do México na época da chegada dos espanhóis em 1519. Hoje eles residem nos estados de Veracruz, Puebla e Hidalgo. Eles são um dos possíveis construtores da cidade pré-colombiana de El Tajín, e ainda mantinham bairros em Teotihuacán.

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Tajín significa Ciudad del Trueno en el idioma totonaco. [2] Se piensa que Tajín también fue el nombre de algún dios totonaco, si bien tal como sucede con muchos sitios arqueológicos es poco provável que ese fuera su nombre en aquel tiempo.

Situada a 120 m de altitude entre as cuencas de los ríos Cazones y Tecolutla. O clima é cálido tropical, con uma temperatura média anual de 25,3 ° C e precipitação média anual de 2004556 mm. Su vegetación es selva baja caducifolia, constituida por árboles que pierden sus hojas durante la época invernal. A 7 km de Papantla de Olarte, Veracruz e a 16 km de la Ciudad de Poza Rica de Hidalgo, Veracruz, por la carretera Canoas - Martínez de la Torre.

A construção de edifícios cerimoniais do Tajín provavelmente se inicia no siglo I. No Período Clássico mesoamericano temprano el Tajín mostró influencia de Teotihuacan tal e como se pode observar no urbanismo, la arquitectura, la la, la escultura e la cerámica [4 ] Mientras que en el Posclásico mostró influencia maya.

Decadencia de Tajín Editar

El sitio ya estaba totalmente despoblado cuando llegaron los conquistadores españoles en el siglo XVI, por lo que no fue destruida y se mantuvo como un secreto su existencia por un par de siglos.

El Tajín é a cidade mais grande da costa norte do golfe do México e domina o território limitado pelas regiões dos rios Tecolutla e Cazones, entre 650 e 950 dC Oriental hasta las planicies costeras del golfo, nos estados atuais de Puebla e Veracruz.

Em 1785 o engenheiro Diego Ruiz visitou e hizo una primera descripción del sitio cuando realizaba una inspección buscando campos de tabaco ilegales. [5] En el siglo XIX el sitio fue visitado por Guillermo Dupaix, Alexander von Humboldt e Carl Nebel, quienes publicaron sus notas sobre el lugar.

Los primeros arqueólogos que llegaron al lugar en el siglo XX incluyeron Teobert Maler, Eduard Georg Seler, Francisco del Paso y Troncoso y Herbert Spinden y Ellen. Con el descubrimiento de petróleo em la zona se construyeron carreteras a partir de la década de 1920 hasta la década de 1940. Estas permitem mais investigación intensiva de la zona. En 1935-1938 o fue assignado por Agustín García Vega la limpieza y la exploración de la zona. El primer edificio que quedó totalmente livre de vegetação de la selva fue la Pirámide de los Nichos. La primera excavación arqueológica de investigación fue hecha por José García Payón de 1943 a 1963. El Instituto Mexicano de Antropología e Historia (INAH) hizo una restauración del sitio de 1989 a 1992.

A esta cidade precolombina se o título do Patrimônio da Humanidade, por considerar que é um testemunho excepcional da grandeza das culturas precolombinas do México e um ejemplo sobresaliente de sua arquitetura. El 14 de dezembro de 1992 el sitio prehispánico de El Tajín, ubicado na região norte do estado de Veracruz, fue inscrito como Bien Cultural na Lista de Patrimonio Mundial da Unesco. [6]

El urbanismo en El Tajín foi amplamente estudado por especialistas, tomando linhas de estudio da identidade, arqueologia do paisaje e teorias de expertos no tema, tal é o caso do antropólogo López Austin, quien no livro Los mitos del Tlacuache, estabelecer que: “… Bajo la costra de piedra e tierra de los cerros están las moradas de dioses y muertos, ámbitos de frescura y vegetación vedados al hombre (…) Las poblaciones serían, recíprocamente, réplicas de los cerros sagrados, y en ellas se erigirían las pirámides, montículos artificiales en cuya cúspide habitarían los dioses… ”[7]

La traza de El Tajín, refiere que esta urbe prehispánica fue construida y orientada en función a la astronomía y en relación con el paisaje. La hipótesis fue generada al notar la importancia de una montaña ubicada al este de la zona arqueológica, la cual se lhama “el cerro de los mantenimientos”. Cuando amanece, el sol comienza a salir sobre el cerro de los mantenimientos, iluminando poco a poco la pirámide de los nichos, from la cima hasta tocar tierra durante um lapso de 7 minutos, 1 por cada cuerpo. Este hecho ocurre porque la pirámide se encuentra perfectamente alineada com a montaña, por eso se cree que para os habitantes prehispánicos, la pirámide de los nichos fue un marcador astronómico unido al calendario agrícola así como el descenso del dios Quetzalcóatl, quien d comienzo al inicio de la siembra, por lo que las personas de esta ciudad prehispánica, colocaron altares en la parte media y alta del cerro de los mantenimientos, para veneración del dios. [8] [9]


A redescoberta da cidade perdida de El Tajín

El Tajín fica em uma região montanhosa semitropical e logo foi invadida por árvores. Estava escondido na densa selva e só foi descoberto em 1785 por um funcionário do governo em busca de plantações ilegais de tabaco.

Maquete em escala de El Tajín (Dodd, G / Domínio Público)

A notícia da descoberta da cidade perdida causou sensação, mas foi apenas no século 20 que a cidade foi escavada. A descoberta de petróleo abriu a área para arqueólogos que, junto com outros, limparam a selva da cidade perdida. Até o momento, apenas 50% do local foi investigado e foi declarado um parque arqueológico nacional para proteger suas muitas ruínas.


El Tajín — Veracruz — México - História

El Taj n é um sítio arqueológico pré-colombiano e uma das maiores e mais importantes cidades da era clássica da Mesoamérica. Uma parte da cultura clássica de Veracruz, El Taj n floresceu de 600 a 1200 d.C. e durante esse tempo vários templos, palácios, quadras de bola e pirâmides foram construídos. [1] Desde a queda da cidade, em 1230, até 1785, nenhum europeu parece ter sabido de sua existência, até que um inspetor do governo encontrou por acaso a Pirâmide dos Nichos. [2]

El Taj n foi declarado Patrimônio da Humanidade em 1992, devido à sua importância cultural e sua arquitetura. [3] Esta arquitetura inclui o uso de nichos decorativos e cimento em formas desconhecidas no resto da Mesoamérica. [4] Seu monumento mais conhecido é a Pirâmide dos Nichos, mas outros monumentos importantes incluem o Grupo Arroyo, os Campos de Bola Norte e Sul e os palácios de Taj n Chico. [5] No total, foram descobertos 20 campos de futebol neste local (os últimos 3 foram descobertos em março de 2013). [6] Desde a década de 1970, El Tajin tem sido o sítio arqueológico mais importante para turistas em Veracruz, atraindo mais de 650.000 visitantes por ano. [7]

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Teotihuacan, Estado de M xico, M xico

Teotihuac n [1] [teotiwa'kan] era uma cidade na América pré-colombiana. Na época era mais populosa, era a maior cidade conhecida lá. Isso foi de cerca do século I até cerca do século V.

A civilização e a cultura vividas ao redor desta cidade também são chamadas de Teotihuac n. Sua posição importante pode ser vista em vários locais em Veracruz e na área controlada pela civilização maia.
A cidade fica a cerca de 40km da Cidade do México, no Estado do México. Tem cerca de 83 km² de superfície. Foi declarado Patrimônio Mundial da UNESCO em 1987.

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Orkney neolítica
Cinco mil anos atrás, no extremo norte da Escócia, o povo pré-histórico das Ilhas Orkney começou a construir alguns monumentos extraordinários de pedra. O Coração do Neolítico Orkney é uma série de importantes monumentos domésticos e rituais. Eles se encontram em uma paisagem arqueológica mais ampla, rica em vestígios do Neolítico e de muitos períodos posteriores da história de Orcadian.


El Tajin, de Veracruz e volta

As ruínas de El Tajin são espetaculares, merecem uma visita e todos os elogios acumulados neste site. Minha Senhora e eu ficamos em Veracruz por um fim de semana prolongado e fizemos esta viagem de um dia acontecer da seguinte maneira:

A estação rodoviária central de Veracruz (la central de autobuses) está localizada na avenida principal Salvador Diaz Miron, em frente ao Auditório Benito Juarez, entre as ruas transversais Marcelino Tuero Molina e Orizaba. O balcão de passagens da linha de longa distância ADO (Autobuses de Oriente) fica do lado da Avenida Miron, junto com outras linhas. A parte traseira da estação na rua La Fragua tem balcões de bilheteria para linhas de segunda classe (locais).

ADO dirige de Veracruz para Papantla (a cidade mais próxima de El Tajin) às 7h00 e às 10h00. As partidas de retorno do terminal Papantla ADO são às 15:25, 17:10 e 17:25 (15:25, 17:10 e 17:25). Você pode comprar bilhetes com antecedência ou no dia da viagem. A viagem de 270 km leva quatro horas, incluindo duas ou três paradas no caminho. O ônibus tem cerca de 100 assentos (e um banheiro) e assentos designados. O pessoal do balcão muito amigável permite que você selecione na tela do computador o seu itinerário e as opções de assento. Paguei uma passagem de 200 pesos por pessoa em cada sentido, ergo 800 pesos para duas pessoas ida e volta.

Pegamos uma xícara de café e um saco de biscoitos na sala de espera do terminal e embarcamos no ônibus limpo e moderno para uma partida no horário. Confortáveis ​​poltronas reclináveis, entretenimento com vídeo e música, controles individuais de volume, luz e ar. A viagem leva você ao longo da costa por cerca de três horas e depois em terra firme por uma hora. O motorista do ônibus estava muito seguro e conhecia bem a rota. Todos os topes foram abordados com cuidado e passando os caminhões de maneira segura e ágil. Fiquei impressionado com o motorista (sentamos na primeira fila).
Chegando em Papantla às 11, um táxi vermelho e branco & quot regular & quot nos levou do terminal pela cidade agitada, confundindo ruas e estradas secundárias até o local de El Tajin. A tarifa era de 50 pesos para os 15 minutos de carro. Esclareça a tarifa antes de entrar no táxi!

El Tajin os saúda com os Volardores de Papantla. Se você assistir ao vôo espetacular, eles farão questão de "doar" e cotar seus 30 pesos. Ignoramos a miríade de vendedores e barracas na entrada. Todos eles vendem a mesma coisa e não é algo único ou artístico. O site El Tajin tem uma taxa de entrada de 57 pesos p.p. e regras de caixa.
Passamos cerca de quatro horas caminhando pelo terreno. Novamente, as pirâmides, templos e quadras de bola são bastante fascinantes. Os jardins são bem conservados e rodeados por uma floresta de selva. Nenhum vendedor irritante por perto! A grandeza de El Tajin é igual à de outros grandes locais meso-americanos. O museu associado tem poucas exibições o suficiente para uma visita de 15 minutos. Boas casas de banho e um restaurante fazem parte do complexo. Lá fora, uma dúzia ou mais de restaurantes Palapa disputarão o seu apetite.

Se não houver nenhum táxi esperando na entrada, caminhe 400 metros até a rodovia principal, onde um ponto de táxi fica na diagonal do outro lado da rua. A tarifa do táxi de volta para o terminal Papantla ADO foi repentinamente cotada a 100 pesos, mas negociamos isso rapidamente. Certifique-se de especificar & quotADO bus terminal & quot, uma vez que parece haver outro terminal de ônibus na cidade - para as linhas locais. Novamente uma partida pontual para o ônibus 17:10. Seu assento reservado está esperando por você, totalmente reclinado no modo dorminhoco enquanto você se encaminha para o pôr do sol, assistindo a outro filme, verificando as 200 fotos que você tirou ou cochilando.

Chegamos a Veracruz por volta das 21h00, famintos. Diversas cocinas econômicas estão situadas ao longo da rua Orizaba. O cheiro tentador de carnes assadas nos atraiu para uma delas (com as cadeiras de plástico verdes brilhantes) e nos deliciamos com tacos al pastor, banana frita, engolindo tudo com algumas cervejas. Isso era rústico - e bom. Os 110 pesos foram o melhor valor de refeição durante a nossa viagem.

Bem alimentados, voltamos para o nosso hotel Delfines (ver comentário separado). Sim, estava escuro, tarde e nós caminhamos por bairros regulares - fora das rotas turísticas, avenidas bem iluminadas ou patrulhas policiais / militares. Sentimo-nos seguros. O mais arriscado é a superfície irregular das calçadas!

PS: a facilidade da viagem e as despesas totais pagas por esta viagem de ônibus de um dia se comparam extremamente bem às taxas organizadas dos operadores turísticos e definitivamente superam a emoção de alugar seu próprio carro (com seguro completo) e dirigir a distância pela manhã e novamente em a noite (escuro !!).


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Se você for a Rosarito para comer, uma parada obrigatória é Puerto Nuevo, localizado a apenas 8 minutos ao sul de Rosarito. Esta pequena cidade oferece mais de 35 restaurantes, todos servindo lagostas. Este estilo de lagosta pode ser encontrado em toda Baja, chamado de & # 8220Puerto Nuevo Style & # 8221

La Flor de Michoacan, no lado norte da cidade em Benito Juarez, tem uma reputação bem merecida com turistas e moradores locais. Este restaurante é conhecido por seus jantares carnitas (carne de porco cozida e frita) servidos em estilo familiar com arroz, feijão, pico de gallo, guacamole fresco e tortilhas frescas enroladas em pano e servidas em uma cesta. O restaurante também tem um bar completo e serve margaritas feitas com morangos de verdade. Os pratos Carnitas são servidos de duas maneiras diferentes. A carne de porco mista inclui tripas e outras peças que muitos não acham apetitosas. Se este for você, desembolsar alguns dólares extras e obter o porco sólido. Você terá dificuldade em gastar mais de US $ 10 por pessoa, mesmo com uma ou duas jarras de margaritas. O prédio é difícil de perder, uma imponente estrutura de tijolos em uma esquina com uma placa de pare. Procure a palavra & # 8220CARNITAS & # 8221 no topo.

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Frutos do mar frescos direto do barco, siga para o sul pela estrada velha, nos estúdios da Fox, há uma vila de pescadores no lado sul do complexo, cerca de vinte restaurantes, muitos locais e tráfego aos domingos! Estacione na estrada principal e entre. A comida é muito boa, mas se você espera que os padrões dos restaurantes americanos estejam atentos, você está no México. Ande por aí, não vá no primeiro, muitos mexicanos deportados que falam inglês tentando fazer você entrar em seus restaurantes.

  • The Mongolian Grill , Carretera Libre Tij-Ens Km.30 (2 milhas ao sul de Rosarito Beach Hotel). 11h30-8h30. Churrasco mongol (selecione suas carnes, vegetais frescos e temperos). Pratos da semana como tacos coreanos e curry tailandês de coco com frango, camarão e brotos de bambu. US $ 6,75 + imposto.
  • Restaurante Italiano de Nonnies , Km. 31.5 Blvd. Popotla, La Barca, Popotla (4 km ao sul de Rosarito Beach Hotel). 11h e # 8211 20h. Delicioso, com preços razoáveis! Espaguete e almôndegas, fettucine, pizza, saladas e uma bela vista! Ligue antes para pedidos para viagem & # 8211 sua comida estará pronta quando você chegar. Aberto de terça a domingo. Aberto para & # 8220Spring Break fast & # 8221 Sex, Sáb, Dom às 7h econômico.

A história de Puerto Nuevo & # 8211 na década de 1950 e no início da década de 1960, esta era uma pequena vila de pescadores onde os americanos se encontravam com os guias locais em um outdoor fora da estrada. Esse outdoor era para Newport Cigaretts & # 8211 Puerto Nuevo é Newport em espanhol. Esta é a derivação provável do nome. Um dia, a esposa de um pescador começou a cozinhar o peixe que seu marido e seus clientes pegaram & # 8230 e o negócio de restaurantes nasceu. Esse restaurante original é conhecido como # 2 (isso tem a ver com o sistema de numeração de lote) # 1 foi o segundo restaurante da cidade. Além disso, existem 8 restaurantes na cidade com o nome Ortegas. Eles estão relacionados e a competição não é tão amigável. Puerto Nuevo é uma parada divertida & # 8211 a lagosta é boa & # 8211 e você tem muitas opções de comida, compras e observação de pessoas!


Deuses do relâmpago e serpentes emplumadas

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O primeiro tratamento extensivo em mais de trinta anos da iconografia exibida em monumentos públicos em uma importante cidade mesoamericana em Veracruz, México.

El Tajín, uma antiga capital mesoamericana em Veracruz, México, há muito é admirada por suas pirâmides e quadras decoradas com extensos programas escultóricos. No entanto, a singularidade da cidade como o único centro da região com tamanha riqueza de esculturas e arquitetura refinada tem dificultado as tentativas de colocá-la mais firmemente no contexto da história mesoamericana. Em Deuses relâmpago e serpentes emplumadas, Rex Koontz empreende o primeiro tratamento extensivo da iconografia de El Tajín em mais de trinta anos, permitindo-nos ver seu imaginário no contexto mesoamericano mais amplo de capitais em ascensão e novas elites durante um período de transformações históricas fundamentais.

Koontz se concentra em três características arquitetônicas principais - o conjunto da Pirâmide dos Nichos / Central Plaza, o South Ballcourt e o complexo Monte das Colunas do Edifício - e investiga os significados de sua escultura e como esses significados teriam sido experimentados por públicos específicos. Koontz descobriu que a iconografia de El Tajín revela muito sobre como os motivos e ritos de elite originados do período clássico foram transmitidos aos povos mesoamericanos posteriores, à medida que as culturas centradas em Teotihuacan e os maias se tornaram as miríades de cidades-estado do período pós-clássico.

Ao reexaminar a iconografia de esculturas registradas há muito tempo, além de apresentar novos monumentos e contextos importantes, Deuses do relâmpago e serpentes emplumadas demonstra claramente as numerosas conexões iconográficas de El Tajín com outras áreas da Mesoamérica, enquanto também explora suas raízes em uma cultura indígena das terras baixas do Golfo cujos contornos só agora estão surgindo. Ao mesmo tempo, começa a revelar uma cultura artística regional amplamente ignorada, da qual Tajín é o coroamento.

  • Agradecimentos
  • 1. Aproximando-se de El Tajín
  • 2. A Pirâmide dos Nichos
  • 3. O Divino Ballcourt
  • 4. O Tribunal de Tajín: O Monte das Colunas do Edifício
  • 5. Audiências e divindades em El Tajín
  • Notas
  • Bibliografia
  • Índice

Rex Koontz é Professor Associado de História da Arte na Universidade de Houston. Ele publicou dois livros anteriores, Landscape and Power in Ancient Mesoamerica (com Kathryn Reese-Taylor e Annabeth Headrick) e Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs (quinta edição com Michael D. Coe).

El Tajín foi uma antiga capital de um extenso reino mesoamericano de planície na segunda metade do primeiro milênio DC. O local é talvez mais conhecido por sua elegante arquitetura de nichos, que é encontrada em profusão nas pirâmides e outras estruturas que formavam o núcleo monumental da cidade. Em primeiro lugar entre essas outras estruturas estavam as quadras de bola de alvenaria para jogar o jogo de bola de borracha da Mesoamérica, e os estudiosos há muito examinam a rica iconografia dessas quadras em busca de pistas sobre o significado e a função desse esporte ritualizado. Apesar do interesse pelos aspectos fundamentais da cidade, o lugar de El Tajín na história mesoamericana não está bem definido.

A singularidade do local tem dificultado as tentativas de colocá-lo mais firmemente no contexto da história mesoamericana. El Tajín foi a maior cidade da região durante seu apogeu (Wilkerson 1999: 113-116), bem como o único centro com tanta riqueza de esculturas e arquitetura requintada. Ao contrário das numerosas grandes cidades que formaram a área maia contemporânea ao sul, El Tajín era uma cidade à parte, com laços com áreas mais ao sul das planícies do Golfo, mas sem pares na região (Kampen 1972 Pascual Soto 1990 comparar Proskouriakoff 1954: 84- 87). Sítios menores em toda a área imitaram o estilo arquitetônico tajín em escala reduzida (Palacios 1926 Jiménez Lara 1991 Pascual Soto 1998: 25-28), mas nenhum deles tinha uma fração significativa da arte pública produzida na capital. Estudos recentes importantes (Ringle 2004 López Austin e López Luján 2000 Smith e Berdan 2003) começaram a lançar luz sobre as redes inter-regionais de arte, comércio e política que operaram durante o período, mas esses estudos ainda precisam ser incorporados sistematicamente aos estudos do próprio site. Finalmente, com algumas exceções importantes (por exemplo, Taube 1988), os estudos de imagens de Tajín fora das quadras de bola tiveram menos sucesso do que os estudos de imagens de quadras de bola citados acima. A tarefa deste volume é reunir estudos iconográficos que apontam para o lugar de El Tajín em um mundo mesoamericano mais amplo, embora isso só possa ser feito quando o imaginário público como um todo ganha um foco melhor, tanto dentro quanto fora da quadra. É um movimento duplo, então - internamente, para uma leitura mais matizada do grande imaginário público como um conjunto coerente de declarações, e externamente, para uma melhor compreensão do imaginário público de outras elites com as quais El Tajín estava interagindo - que dá este volume sua lógica particular.

A antiga cidade de El Tajín fica nas colinas das planícies centro-norte do Golfo, a apenas 40 milhas do Golfo do México a leste e a uma distância um pouco maior do sopé da Sierra Madre a oeste (Fig. 1.1) . O local fica dentro dos limites da Mesoamérica, área de complexas civilizações pré-colombianas que se estende da metade sul do México, passando pela Guatemala e Belize, até as partes ocidentais de Honduras e El Salvador. Entre os elementos que caracterizam esta área de cultura estão pirâmides e esculturas monumentais no centro das cidades. El Tajín contém apenas uma área central monumental complexa, com grandes quantidades de impressionante arquitetura talhada em pedra, juntamente com a escultura e pintura complexas que são indicativas de uma cidade mesoamericana.

Onze quadras de bola foram encontradas no centro, com outras seis nas proximidades. Muitos, senão todos, estavam em uso durante o apogeu de Tajín (cerca de 650-1000 AD). Nessa época, os mesoamericanos já vinham jogando algum tipo de jogo de bola há pelo menos dois milênios (Hill e Clark 2001 Ortíz C. et al. 1997), portanto, jogar bola não é o que diferencia El Tajín. A concentração de tribunais em um único centro urbano é incomum, entretanto, e coloca o local ao lado de um punhado de outras cidades mesoamericanas. Dada a quantidade de energia dedicada à construção e decoração de quadras de alvenaria, não há dúvida de que o jogo de bola e os rituais ao redor eram fundamentais para a elite da cidade.

Diversas quadras de bola tajín são decoradas, e a quadra central contém uma das mais ricas coleções de escultura de quadra de toda a Mesoamérica. A iconografia desses painéis da quadra central foi crucial para os estudiosos do jogo de bola nesta região e em toda a Mesoamérica, fornecendo informações fundamentais sobre os principais objetos associados ao jogo (Ekholm 1949), bem como os ritos de sacrifício em torno do jogo (Tozzer 1957 Knauth 1961 ) Embora detalhes isolados desses painéis tenham servido bem como material comparativo para padrões iconográficos mesoamericanos maiores, qualquer leitura do conjunto de painéis como uma série narrativa coerente ainda está em disputa, um problema que será abordado totalmente no Capítulo 3.

A partir do século VII e continuando até o século XI, El Tajín serviu como uma importante capital da Mesoamérica em uma área que antes era marginal para a tradição urbana da região (Brüggemann 1993 Wilkerson 2001a Daneels 2002: 659). Durante o mesmo período, áreas antes periféricas em toda a Mesoamérica ocidental tornaram-se grandes centros de comércio e poder político. Esse poder recém-descoberto foi anunciado na forma de arquitetura e arte monumentais. Nisso, a escultura pública de El Tajín é típica e deve ser vista no contexto mais amplo das mudanças na paisagem política e social mesoamericana ocorridas durante este período.

O período de apogeu de El Tajín coincide com o declínio de Teotihuacan, o principal centro urbano da primeira metade do primeiro milênio DC. O declínio do poder de Teotihuacan deu início a ondas de realinhamento político, social e econômico em toda a Mesoamérica no período de 650-900 / 1000 DC, chamado aqui de Epiclássico (Pasztory 1978: 15-21 Millon 1988 Diehl e Berlo 1989 Coggins 2002: 43-45 Braswell 2003). Muitos estudiosos apontaram a importância de El Tajín durante o período epiclássico (Jiménez Moreno 1959 Webb 1978 Diehl e Berlo 1989 Smith e Berdan 2003), quando foi um dos vários centros regionais que experimentou um surto de atividade à medida que o poder de Teotihuacan diminuía. A reconstituição de um mundo mesoamericano após o declínio de Teotihuacan continua sendo uma das principais questões da história mesoamericana, mas o papel fundamental de El Tajín nesse processo não está em dúvida.

Uma recente bolsa de estudos no Mesoamerican Epiclassic enfatizou a construção de redes de elite que substituíram a velha ordem de Teotihuacan (Ringle et al. 1998 Ringle 2004 López Austin e López Luján 1999, 2000 Smith e Berdan 2003: 25). A natureza dessas redes ainda é uma questão de debate, mas é claro que um aspecto crucial envolveu a apresentação de declarações públicas complexas no centro urbano proclamando essas novas elites e os sistemas que as legitimaram (Nagao 1989). É de grande interesse que parte significativa do simbolismo foi compartilhada por muitas dessas elites, ao mesmo tempo que uma certa identidade regional foi imposta à arte e à arquitetura. Isso é verdade para El Tajín, assim como para várias outras capitais da Mesoamérica na época (Diehl e Berlo 1989 Ringle 2004).

A decoração desses centros das cidades foi comparada a outdoors políticos, mas esta é uma caracterização estática do que era uma área dinâmica, com inúmeros ritos animando esses espaços e interagindo com as mensagens esculpidas permanentes nos edifícios (Fox 1996 Kowalski 1999: 11) . Essas histórias esculpidas preocupam-se sobretudo em apresentar vários rituais realizados nos mesmos espaços. El Tajín é particularmente rico em esculturas narrativas que falam diretamente sobre a apresentação desses ritos. Nesse aspecto, a escultura pública da cidade é semelhante à arte pública contemporânea e à escrita dos maias (Schele e Miller 1986 Reents-Budet 1989 Stuart 1998). Dito isso, a apresentação de rituais nos monumentos públicos de El Tajín não deve ser concebida simplesmente como um reflexo da prática ritual. Recent scholarship on Mesoamerican ritual imagery reminds us that many choices were made as to which rituals were to be depicted and how (Quiñones Keber 2002 Herring 2005:42-45), decisions that should be kept in mind as we examine El Tajín's imagery of ritual throughout this book (see especially Chapter 5).

If we are to see El Tajín in the context of the Epiclassic period in Mesoamerica, then it may be helpful to explore how we came to think of the Epiclassic as a period and what are perceived as its major characteristics. Many Mesoamerican scholars, and virtually all those working in the Maya area, use the terms "Late Classic" and "Terminal Classic" to refer to the period under discussion. This works well in the Maya area, where there is a much stronger continuity between the first and second half of the millennium, with only the "Terminal Classic" (ca. AD 800-1000) seen as the sort of disruptive period normally associated with the Epiclassic to the west. Radical changes in settlement, trade, and style patterns happened earlier in western Mesoamerica, however, with major shifts beginning by the sixth to seventh centuries AD. The rise of El Tajín as a key center was one of these shifts, and the Epiclassic may be best characterized as the period in which these transformations came into being and matured throughout much of western Mesoamerica.

Initially the Epiclassic was seen as a transitional period between the peaceful, theocratic Classic (to ca. AD 650) and the more militaristic Postclassic (after ca. AD 900 Jiménez Moreno 1959). Later scholarship, however, has shown conclusively that the Classic period was not without militarism and conflict, suggesting that if the Epiclassic was transitional, the transition was not between periods of peace and conflict. Thus while it was clear that settlement, stylistic, and other patterns shifted during this period, there was no longer a grand historical narrative to make sense of these changes. More recently, Webb (1978) proposed that trade, not conflict, was at the heart of the Epiclassic transformation: Classic societies traded items central to religious practice in a relatively peaceful setting, whereas Epiclassic capitals such as El Tajín were involved in more-militaristic trading ventures focusing more on secular or luxury trade items. The emphasis on Epiclassic trade among these emerging capitals, and its relation to militarism and other aspects of the period, continues to be a topic of debate (Ringle et al. 1998 Ringle 2004:213: Sugiura Yamamoto 2001).

Despite the importance of the Epiclassic context for the rise of El Tajín, the city did not exist only in the rather rarefied air of these rising Epiclassic capitals. It was the hub of a region that had long been inhabited but had remained largely peripheral to Mesoamerican history. While we know too little of this regional culture and its workings, strong evidence suggests that El Tajín built directly on the earlier regional culture (Wilkerson 1972 Pascual Soto 1998). In addition, we now have evidence for a regional sculptural tradition that is directly ancestral to the Epiclassic Tajín flowering. The regional context is an important consideration when examining the problem of style in El Tajín and its relation to other Epiclassic centers. Much has been written on the "eclectic" nature of Epiclassic art, with its ability to borrow both graphic practices and symbolism from throughout Mesoamerica (Kubler 1980 McVicker 1985 Nagao 1989). Although El Tajín may have appropriated a number of symbols circulating during the Epiclassic, the style employed, when viewed from the perspective of the earlier regional tradition, is largely an indigenous development and shows little if any of the conscious stylistic appropriations often cited for other Epiclassic capitals such as Cacaxtla and Xochicalco. This history of regional sculpture is presented in Chapter 3, while below we describe the center of the city as it was during Tajín's Epiclassic apogee.

Introduction to the Urban Core

The center of El Tajín (Fig. 1.2), which contains all the major architectural and sculptural programs, is located among the rolling hills that are typical of this part of the Veracruz lowlands. There is a steady decline in elevation from north to south, going from 200 to 140 m above sea level. The architects of the site artificially modified the upper portions of the monumental center to contain the Mound of the Building Columns and the Tajín Chico areas (García Payón 1954). The rest of the center, referred to as the lower monumental center, sits in the valley floor, which opens only to the south.

A wealth of sculpture adorned the buildings of the monumental center. This book focuses on the meanings of that sculpture and how those meanings would have been experienced by specific audiences. This is not to say that the book is a catalog of the literally hundreds of panels, stelae, and architectural friezes at the site. Two fine, complete catalogs have already been produced (Kampen 1972 Castillo Peña 1995), and there is little reason to go over yet again every sculpture in this fashion. Instead, this book treats at length the three richest, most important sculptural programs adorning what are widely regarded as the most important public spaces in the monumental center: the Pyramid of the Niches/Central Plaza ensemble, the South Ballcourt, and the Mound of the Building Columns complex (Fig. 1.2). In this respect the book is a sustained examination of a restricted set of ancient monuments. The majority of the book looks at what can be gleaned from the iconography of the sculptural programs in a reading of motifs, relations, and finally narratives.

A pre-Columbian person approaching El Tajín at its pinnacle would have seen a city of 15,000-30,000 people (Brüggemann 1991:104 Brüggemann et al. 1992:62) spread over 1,000 hectares or almost 4 square miles (Ortíz C. and Rodríguez 1999:103). At its center was a monumental ensemble of pyramids, ballcourts, and palaces that covered more than 10 percent of the city (Brüggemann 1991:81 Fig. 1.2) and was delimited by two small streams flowing from north to south, beginning on either side of the upper portion of the center. House mounds dating to Tajín's florescence ring the center, continuing into the hills that encircle the site (Krotser and Krotser 1973:181).

Much of the lower monumental center is organized into plazas formed by pyramids surrounding a central space. Just off these plazas, the builders of El Tajín placed one or more ballcourts. Eleven courts have now been documented for the monumental center, giving El Tajín one of the highest concentrations of ballcourts in Mesoamerica. All of these are found in the lower center in Tajín Chico, in the upper center, the buildings take on an administrative/ceremonial character (Sarro 2001). Many of these public buildings in both areas were decorated with full-figure sculptures, relief panels, and elaborate mural paintings. The corpus of art at the site is still growing, for the study of El Tajín is ongoing, and we are still discovering major sculptural pieces and even entire mural programs.

Only recently, in the last quarter century, have we been able to piece together a vision of the city. Early European and Mexican explorers did not consider El Tajín a city, but a single, isolated pyramid (Ruíz 1785). The Pyramid of the Niches, as it has come to be called, is indeed one of the most beautiful, elaborate, and important buildings at the site. Its architectural complexity entranced the world for more than a century after its discovery, with several famous European explorers producing renderings of the building (Fig. 1.3). The combination of niches constructed of numerous separate blocks of stone surmounted by an emphatically projecting cornice (the "flying cornice"), seen to greatest effect in this building, was to become the sine qua non of Tajín architectural style. Throughout the nineteenth century, the Pyramid of the Niches served as the sole major example of that style, while the culture from which the pyramid sprang, like the city that surrounded it, remained almost completely unknown. Given the paucity of archaeological information coming from the region and the lack of any other documentation apart from the growing number of decontextualized portable stone objects, this is hardly surprising. Even when archaeological investigations began in earnest in the first half of the twentieth century, the lack of a regional context for understanding El Tajín continued to be a major problem.

It is now clear that at the time of its apogee El Tajín would have been the largest and most populous urban center in the north-central Gulf lowlands (Wilkerson 1999 Brüggemann 2001a:377). As Tajín's power grew towards the beginning of the Epiclassic, other, smaller centers within 30 km of the site adopted the Tajín practice of building in stone, as well as its architectural style (Jiménez Lara 1991 Wilkerson 2001b:652), as did cities as much as 80 or 100 km to the west, such as Yohualichan on the flanks of the Sierra Madre (Fig. 1.1 Pascual Soto 1998:28-30). Kubler (1973) has posited that the niche and flying cornice, elements diagnostic for Tajín architecture, were marks of Tajín identity wherever they were found.

Throughout this region of Tajín architectural style, the ceramics used during this period are much like those found at El Tajín (García Payón 1971:532 Daneels 2004), suggesting that the architectural style signaled a deeper affiliation. The palma, an especially complex, portable carved stone object with decoration strongly reminiscent of Tajín art, also marks this region and joins it to the highland traditions just to the south, around Xalapa, Veracruz. Daneels (2004:421) has defined a ceramic sphere that encompasses this larger region but suggests that these ties were more general than those seen in the heartland of Tajín's architectural style. The art and material culture of these peripheral sites indicate close Tajín ties in some elements (e.g., painting styles and rites depicted), but they also exhibit important differences (different ceramic figurines and a lack of flying cornices in the architecture) that suggest less intimate political and social relationships (Headrick and Koontz 2006:195). This book will examine some of these relations as they reveal themselves in the iconography, but for the moment one can safely envisage the smaller corridor of Tajín-related architecture as the Tajín polity or realm, with the ancient city at its center as the capital (Fig. 1.1).

Although the Tajín realm may be relatively well defined on the basis of architecture and material culture, little is known about the people who inhabited that realm. Ceramics were the principal means used in the past to identify the Tajín people and have also been the chief evidence for dating the site and exploring its relationships with other Mesoamerican centers. All this is quite a bit for the ceramic evidence to bear, as we shall see, and it suggests that a close examination of the ceramics will be repaid with a better understanding of how El Tajín has been constituted as a culture.

Ceramics: The Dating and Ethnicity of Tajín

Wilfredo Du Solier (1939, 1945) published the first systematic studies of Tajín ceramics. His stratigraphy came from several test pits in the west part of the site (Du Solier 1945:148), especially from one midden found in the extreme west of the monumental center, near the arroyo (Du Solier 1939:25). All other observations seem to be based on surface finds and earlier collections. The fact that he was unable to systematically compare his test pit stratigraphy to the fill in buildings, leaving the latter to be dated on style and a priori assumptions about urban development, was a situation that plagued Tajín archaeology until the Proyecto Tajín's systematic study of the ceramic fill in six of the ballcourts in the late 1980s (Raesfeld 1990, 1992), and one that continues to plague buildings outside the ballcourt study.

Du Solier created type categories for both the sherds (1939:27-29) and the figurine heads (1939:36), which he was able to associate with specific areas of Tajín. These correlations have not been discussed since and may still prove to be interesting. For example, Du Solier associated Polished Black Relief ware with the Mound of the Building Columns, where he found "hundreds" of these relief vessels carved with the "13 Rabbit" glyph, which he interpreted as a date (1945:155-156). He associated "captive taking" vessels with Tajín Chico, as well as a certain type of Fine Orange ware with pre- and post-fire grooving that he found in the top portions of his trenches in the site's western extremities. It is largely on this evidence that Tajín Chico is placed late in the architectural sequence (1939:31).

To date the site, Du Solier created three rough stages of Tajín ceramics and concentrated on the outside relationships of the Polished Black ware to other sites in Mesoamerica. He saw a relationship between what he defined as early Polished Black with Teotihuacan II or early III ware. This connection was one of the main pieces of evidence used to date Tajín as a Classic period site, although as Brüggemann (2004) later pointed out, it ignored the larger context of the Tajín ceramics in favor of a simple correlation. Put another way, Du Solier had no proof that the Tajín ceramics were found in stratigraphic situations comparable to the Teotihuacan pieces. This problem would crop up each time a ceramic relationship with Teotihuacan was attempted. In a later essay, Du Solier (1945:190) posited that there was no direct Teotihuacan influence at Tajín, and that any characteristics of the former site were "passed through the sieve of Huastec culture" before arriving at Tajín.

Paula Krotser (in Krotser and Krotser 1973) extended Du Solier's typology, did more trenching to establish a ceramic sequence, and also performed an intensive surface collection. Again the attempt was made to link Teotihuacan and Tajín through the Polished Black ceramic type, called here Terrazas Lustroso. This study suffered from the same lack of context as Du Solier's (Brüggemann 1992a:29, 2004), namely that the Tajín ceramics were not found in contexts that showed other firm Teotihuacan relationships. Not only were they found in different stratigraphic contexts, but at Teotihuacan, these ceramics were a luxury ware, whereas at Tajín they were a domestic ware (Yarborough n.d. [1992]:244-245). More generally, Krotser was able to tie the ceramics of Tajín to both the Huastec and Totonac ceramic spheres, and she noted that close relationships existed between Tajín and the nearby lowland site of Las Higueras as well as the highland Puebla site of Xiuhtetelco (see also García Payón 1971:528). The former contains murals in a style that can now be seen as related to Tajín (Sánchez Bonilla 1992 Morante López 2005).

Krotser's ceramic work was done about 2 km south of the central monumental zone, in groups of house mounds that the author designated as somewhere between those of the common farmer and those of the city's highest elite. Through these important early investigations of the periphery of Tajín, done in conjunction with Ramón Krotser, the authors were able to demonstrate that El Tajín was truly urban and not a largely vacant ceremonial center. That said, the work did little to clarify the architectural sequence at the heart of the site.

At approximately the same time that the Krotsers were working south of the center, S. Jeffrey K. Wilkerson was exploring the nearby site of Santa Luisa, where he was able to construct the first complete ceramic sequence for the region and anchor it at least partially to radiocarbon dates (Wilkerson 1972, 1979, 1980, 1987a, 1990, 2001b). This regional chronology, in which the apogee of El Tajín is dated to the La Isla A (600-900) and La Isla B (900-1100) phases, has been critical to all later work in the region. Because Wilkerson could not correlate this information systematically with a large majority of the buildings at Tajín for lack of comparable material in good archaeological context, its usefulness remained marginal to constructing a chronology for the site proper.

Although the large amount of data on ceramics gathered in the 1960s and 1970s could not be applied to a chronology of monumental buildings at the site core, it was often used to defend or demolish hypotheses on the identity of the Tajín people. The great majority of scholarship on the city's inhabitants argued for one of two principal candidates: the Totonac (García Payón 1963) or the Huastec (Du Solier 1945 Wilkerson 1972, 1979). While north-central Veracruz sported a multiethnic population when the Spanish arrived, the Totonac were the dominant group in the area and thus the first candidates for building the much earlier city however, ceramics associated with the Totonac are distinctive polychromes that do not appear at Tajín until late in the sequence, thus disqualifying the Totonac as we know them archaeologically from founding the city. Despite the ceramic evidence indicating that the Totonac arrived late in the sequence, García Payón (1963) saw the proof of Totonac identity for Tajín in colonial accounts of the historical movements of the Totonacs into this area that claimed a much earlier arrival, in the middle of the Classic period (ca. AD 300-400). This is possible only if one posits the different ceramic assemblage at that time to also be Totonac, which is what García Payón did (1963:245). In short, the Totonac identity hypothesis has a very weak basis in the material evidence, and the colonial records on which it is based provide a shaky foundation (Ramírez Castilla 1995).

Using ceramic evidence instead of colonial records, Wilkerson constructed an important argument for El Tajín as a Huastec site. He noted, as did Du Solier before him, that several very early (ca. 1000-300 BC) ceramic styles and figurine types are shared between the Tajín region and the area immediately to the north (Wilkerson 1979:40-41). This northern Gulf region has long been associated with the Huastec Maya, and it was hypothesized that these northern ties indicated a deep stratum of Huastec culture in the Tajín region. Recent archaeological finds in the Nautla River valley just to the south of Tajín have significantly changed this view of early Tajín affiliations. It is now clear that by ca. 300 BC a culture separate from that to the north had developed in the Tajín region and Nautla Valley (Wilkerson 1994, 2001a). By Tajín's Epiclassic apogee, the Huastec area to the north was a distinct ceramic sphere (Daneels 2004:421). Thus neither the Huastec nor the Totonac have definitive claims to the culture of Tajín.

Although it is difficult to assign a specific language or ethnic identity to El Tajín, the archaeological and artistic evidence is more easily related to other regions and spheres. As noted above, regional architectural styles and ceramic assemblages indicate a close-knit north-central Gulf lowland sphere during the period of Tajín's apogee. Fundamental traits of the Tajín art style indicate even wider Gulf relations. The widest sphere that has been clearly related to El Tajín is that of the Classic Veracruz style, which Proskouriakoff (1954) defined through the use two motifs: the scroll and the raised double outline. The sphere's definition in terms of stylistic practices, as opposed to reconstituted ethnicities, means that Classic Veracruz continues to be a productive, although debated, category. Refinements to Proskouriakoff's initial definition of the sphere show that the particular scroll style used at Tajín is indicative of later developments in the style of the northern half of the central Gulf lowlands (Stark 1998). It is especially close to the work seen on palmas, an elite sculptural form that is also specifically associated with the northern portion of the Classic Veracruz style sphere.

With a stalemate on the question of ethnicity, and rather impressionistic methods of dating the monumental center, the next phase of research into Tajín ceramics, chronology, and ethnicity began in 1983 with the launching of the Proyecto Tajín. During this massive project, the largest by far to date, little interest was shown in the ethnicity of the city's residents, but the question of dating consumed a significant portion of the project's resources. Several researchers came to the conclusion that any settlement before the Epiclassic period (ca. AD 650-1000) had been rather small, and that the apogee of Tajín may have been as short as three centuries (Brüggemann 1993).

To explore the question of chronology further, Raesfeld (1990, 1992) excavated test pits in six of the ballcourts, obtaining a comparative sample of more than 3,500 sherds. All six ballcourts proved to have the same fill, and surface collections at others suggest that all were constructed in a very short time. Furthermore, ceramic types that had been used to distinguish a Late Classic and an Early Postclassic phase were mixed in all the ballcourts, suggesting that these types may not be chronologically diagnostic, a problem that Wilkerson had already touched upon in his work at Santa Luisa. At the same time, Brüggemann (1993) telescoped the history of the site to the time span between AD 850 and 1150, finding no basis either in the architecture or the ceramics for any building that García Payón attempted to date as earlier. Lira López, in her published dissertation on Tajín ceramics (1990), notes little chronological development at all in the ceramics, following the results of Brüggemann and Raesfeld. Both Brüggemann and Lira López place what appears to be the compressed apogee period in the ninth to twelfth centuries on the basis of a radiocarbon date.

Despite the problems with chronological control at the beginning and end of the sequence, the important work of the Proyecto Tajín on Tajín chronology focused researchers on the rather short period of Tajín's apogee and the Epiclassic connections during that time. In arguing these points, and especially the initial date of AD 850, the Proyecto workers chose to ignore the earlier regional work of Wilkerson (1972), which showed that apogee-period ceramics found outside the center could be dated to the period between 600-1100, with these dates anchored to a more substantial series of radiocarbon dates than that used by Brüggemann and Lira López in the center.

While the above information is crucial to situating the city of Tajín in space and time, the focus of this book is not the city as a whole, but the three programs of public sculpture erected at its center. Since all three of these programs have been known and studied for some time, any study of the iconography of Tajín comes with a certain set of interests and assumptions. As we will see, these assumptions, and the debates they have generated, often have a direct effect on how scholars view Tajín's place in the greater Mesoamerican world.

The Study of the Imagery

Ellen Spinden (1933) was the first scholar to write at length on the imagery of El Tajín, and to help make sense of its figures and symbols, she turned to current understandings of Aztec imagery. This was a natural strategy. Not only did the Aztecs leave a voluminous body of art that had already been studied seriously for more than half a century, but they were also the subject of the finest ethnohistorical materials in Mesoamerica in the body of work by Sahagún and others. In addition, the greatest iconographer of the nineteenth century, Eduard Seler, used these Aztec materials almost exclusively to construct the first wide-ranging and coherent view of Mesoamerican iconography. Thus by the late 1920s, when Spinden began her work at Tajín, there was a venerable tradition supporting the use of Aztec analogies in examining other Mesoamerican symbol systems.

Although she analyzed a wealth of Tajín sculpture using Aztec analogies, Spinden did not have access to a single complete sculptural program however, she did have access to four of the six monumental panels of the South Ballcourt. From these images, Spinden posited that the ballcourt sculptures depicted the initiation rites of a young warrior into a military cult with solar symbolism. Significant to all later scholarship were Spinden's (1933:256) identification of ballcourt sacrifice in the northeast panel (Fig. 3.8) and the association of this iconography with the Great Ballcourt of Chichén Itzá.

José García Payón, who followed Spinden and who for over three decades was the head archaeologist at El Tajín, was especially intrigued by the iconography of the South Ballcourt panels. On one level, García Payón largely accepted Spinden's hypothesis that the panels represent the initiation of a warrior. He introduced another layer of symbolism by identifying the South Ballcourt as a citlaltlachtli, or constellation ballcourt, and the actors as sky deities or impersonators. On both interpretive levels, he continued to use Central Mexican analogies initiated by Spinden. When he wrote his first major essay on the subject (García Payón 1959), an important part of the program remained unknown. Soon after that essay was published, García Payón found the two central panels of the South Ballcourt. He interpreted the panels as depicting a pulque rite due to the presence in both scenes of the maguey plant, from which the intoxicating beverage is made (García Payón 1963). He eventually expanded this hypothesis into a large part of his last major publication on the site (García Payón 1973b:31-57).

H. David Tuggle (1968) was the first to publish and interpret as a whole the extensive imagery found in the Mound of the Building Columns program. In this important article he identified the scenes as a series of rituals, most of which involved human sacrifice. He linked several of the key scenes with imagery found in the lower monumental center, thus being the first to note the iconographic coherence of the site as a whole. Following Caso (1953), he showed that the glyphs inserted into the carved scenes named the figures. Tuggle suggested that the most important individual, named "13 Rabbit," was a historical ruler at the site.

Michael Kampen (1972) was the first person to publish a systematic study of the site's iconography as a whole. His book, The Sculptures of El Tajín, Veracruz, Mexico , was by far the most important publication on the imagery up to that time. In it he illustrated the entire known corpus of sculpture with careful line drawings that have proved invaluable to all later researchers. His iconographic analyses were placed in a synthetic chapter on the subject and in the descriptions that accompanied the catalog of the sculptures. In both places he dropped the interpretations of Spinden and García Payón, by then embedded in the literature, and instead carefully noted the basic vocabulary and syntax of Tajín iconography. He then linked these patterns to basic themes such as ballcourt sacrifice. Kampen was especially wary of direct analogies with later Aztec imagery given the significant differences in the organization, location, and historical position of the two cultures. He found the wide-ranging comparative method introduced by Spinden to be too impressionistic and too reliant on simple correspondences between Mesoamerican systems. This critique, together with superior documentation of the site's sculptural corpus, made Kampen's book indispensable to Tajín studies.

The work of the Proyecto Tajín has continued Kampen's documentary work and has also proven invaluable for iconographers. The recent catalog of sculpture by Patricia Castillo Peña (1995) and the monograph on works in all media by Sara Ladrón de Guevara (1999) contain extensive collections of new material as well as more-detailed reconstructions of old sculptures and murals that formerly had been known only as disconnected fragments. The latter work also contains a considered analysis of the global worldview evident in Tajín iconography.

Arturo Pascual Soto (1990) further systematized many of Kampen's observations. Throughout his book on the site's imagery he treats the elements of Tajín iconography as if they were Maya hieroglyphs, and he goes so far as to borrow the notational system that Thompson (1962) used to describe the glyphs. Pascual Soto's main objective was to generate a chronology for the sculptures by noting the historical transformations in particular iconographic elements in order to date the monuments and identify workshops. This goal may be opposed to the narrative reading that drove the earlier analyses. Pascual Soto's close attention to iconographic detail and archaeological context allowed him to establish for the first time several important groups of sculpture, including a much clearer idea of the public sculpture in and around the Central Plaza (Pascual Soto 1990:173).

At the same time, Wilkerson (1980, 1984, 1991) was involved in exploration of the narrative content of the South Ballcourt program, initiated by Spinden and García Payón. Synthesizing the work of the two earlier researchers, he linked Spinden's hypothesis on the meaning of the corner panels as warrior initiation rites with García Payón's interpretation of the pulque ritual of the center panels. In Wilkerson's analysis, the corner panels show the rituals leading to ballcourt sacrifice, which then produces the "response of the gods" in the form of pulque. He also expands on García Payón's astral symbolism, which he links specifically with Venus. Taking up Tuggle's thesis on the position of 13 Rabbit in the Mound of the Building Columns, he argues that one of the more important scenes (Fig. 4.4B) records the affirmation of this ruler's power.

Karl Taube (1986, 1988) has reinterpreted several important Tajín images by placing them in their larger Mesoamerican context. He is the first to apply such a wide-ranging comparative method to the imagery of Tajín since Spinden's initial article. Most importantly, he identifies the central panels of the South Ballcourt as an example of the cosmogonic imagery found throughout Mesoamerica (Taube 1986:56-57), and a main scene in the Mound of the Building Columns as scaffold sacrifice (Taube 1988).

The most sustained attempt to place Tajín iconography in its Epiclassic Mesoamerican context is that of William Ringle (Ringle et al. 1998 Ringle 2004). His focus is not on El Tajín per se, but on the shared Feathered Serpent symbolism used by Epiclassic elite networks throughout Mesoamerica. Ringle is particularly interested in the link between Tajín imagery and that of Chichén Itzá in the Yucatan, a relation first remarked in Spinden's original Tajín article.

Although they do not specifically treat Tajín imagery, López Austin and López Luján (2000) provide an important complementary model for shared Epiclassic symbolism, derived from a close reading of later ethnohistoric sources as well as analogies with later political systems. They base their model on an exegesis of the language of Zuyuá, an arcane elite language used in Contact period Yucatan, but which these authors argue has deep and broad roots in Mesoamerica. Especially important for this study is the recognition that elites would associate themselves both with the local patron deity as well as the more universal Feathered Serpent, the latter usually conceived as a combination of a quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) and a rattlesnake (Crotalus ou Sistrurus sp.). Like the Ringle model noted above, the Zuyuan model places Feathered Serpent imagery at the center of shared Epiclassic symbolism across the region, a theme we will explore as it pertains to Tajín. Both models attempt to explain the shared symbolism and the wide-ranging contacts of Epiclassic elites, two of the most pertinent and heretofore little understood aspects of Epiclassic elite art.

Both Epiclassic models play against a recent tradition of studying Tajín iconography that has steered away from analogies. To place Tajín in a Mesoamerican context, however, requires the judicious and frequent use of analogy. If the imagery of El Tajín is to be brought fully into the Mesoamerican fold, then the use of analogies with other Mesoamerican iconographic systems is the single most important issue in the study of Tajín's imagery. A major problem for any analogical argument is the lack of textual documentation on Tajín thought and religion. The major documents for the study of Tajín culture turn out to be the art and architecture themselves. This is the lot of the prehistorian, to be always searching for relevant documents but never finding anything so immediate as the art and other aspects of material culture that the people themselves produced. Everything else—including documents produced by later cultures, as is the case with later ethnohistoric writings from the area, as well as the contemporary Maya writing and the iconographic statements of related Epiclassic capitals—is at some remove from the matter at hand. How to connect these documents with the iconography of Tajín has been and continues to be a major problem in Classic Veracruz studies, and one we will explore in its specifics as we examine the imagery.

In sum, the best treatments of Tajín iconography have always involved close, intrinsic readings of the imagery combined with analogies from well-documented Mesoamerican iconographic traditions. In the scholarship on Tajín before 1960, these analogies were drawn almost exclusively from the Late Postclassic Aztec tradition. Later authors have criticized the use of iconographic analogies from a culture that was organized differently, lived in a significantly different ecosystem, and followed the apogee of Tajín culture by 500 years. This revision of the use of analogy in Tajín iconography follows a wider trend in which the appropriateness of the Late Postclassic Aztec analogy was questioned throughout Mesoamerican studies (Kubler 1967). The Late Postclassic analogy had its defenders (Nicholson 1971), but even these admitted that indiscriminate use of Aztec materials seen earlier was no longer tenable. Instead, recent analyses have focused on finding analogies that are more specifically suited to the Tajín context for structural and/or historical reasons. Particularly important to this study are approaches that focus on the Epiclassic context of the imagery.

“I find this book to be a superior piece of scholarship in every way.”
John Pohl, Peter Jay Sharp Curator and Lecturer in the Art of the Ancient Americas, Princeton University Art Museum


The Cumbre Tajín event

The Cumbre Tajin is an annual artistic and cultural festival which is held at the site in March. The Cumbre Tajin is considered to be an identity festival of the Totonacs, who are considered to be the guardians of El Tajín. Events include those traditional to the Totonac culture as well as modern arts and events from cultures from as far as Tibet. Some of the events include musical concerts, experiencing a temascal, theatrical events and visiting El Tajin at night, with a total over 5,000 activities. [8] Many of the cultural, craft and gastronomic events occur at the adjacent Parque Takilhsukut which just located just outside the archeological site. [57] In 2008, 160,000 attended the event which featured Fito Páez, Ximena Sariñana and Los Tigres del Norte. Thirty percent of the revenue the event generates goes toward scholarships for Totonaca youth. [8]

In 2009, the event added the Encuentro Internacional de Voladores (International Encounter of Voladores). For five days, voladores from various places perform at the poles erected at the site. The objective is not only to see the different costumes and styles of the groups but to share experiences about the fertility ritual. Voladores come from as far as San Luis Potosi and Guatemala. [8]

The Cumbre Tajín has been criticized for its emphasis on modern shows rather than on cultural events. One criticism is the illumination of pyramids at night without any kind of cultural historical instruction. The criticism is that it disrespects the site and the Totonac people. There are also fears that large numbers of visitors to the site for events such as concerts by names such as Alejandra Guzmán damage the site. [57] However, the Centro de Artes Indígenas de Veracruz states that it works very hard to preserve and promote Totonac culture through the event, sponsoring events such as traditional cooking, painting and the ritual of the Voladores. [58]


Veracruz A Mexican Gem.

Veracruz Mexico is a Historical place, where many indigenous groups built their empires. Te totonaco indigenous built El Tajin which is a Temple where represents the solar calendar, where sacrifices were made according to their culture now it is just ruins, where history is kept, an archaeological site, Many tourist go and see some history. In this both videos have explanations of cultural tourism, Art, beliefs, culture, archaeology, geography, traditions of indigenous and elements that shape their way of life. By about this specific indigenous group the totonacs, I am thrilled to say I plan to go and visit my self, going to a place that some how it has not lost their history its amazing specially if it has to do with ones roots, in this case my roots. Now it makes me wonder how many places in the world are actually hiding some archaeological history.

Vacation in Veracruz, Mexico Adventure and Cultural Tours.

http://www.DiscoverVeracruzTours.com This video was put together by the Mexican Tourism Board promoting the state of Veracruz.

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El Tajin, Veracruz, Mexico Visita la piramides De los nichos.

El tajin many archaelogical totonaca site, with nice people, and what is amazing that some of those people still speak their totonaca language.

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Most Amazing Aztec Pyramids near Mexico City & Cancun, Mexico

Once home to some of the largest and most powerful ancient civilizations, México has a plethora of captivating pyramids, each provide visitors a distinct glimpse into this regions rich past. While every ancient site site offers its own appeal, we’ve narrowed down a list of eight pyramids every traveler should try to see.

    Zona Arqueológica de Tulum: Tulum Beach Ruins

Where: Tulum, Quitana Roo, Mexico

The Tulum Archaeological Site features Mayan ruins perched on the edge of a sea cliff. The Zona Arqueológica de Tulum offers close access to the Cancun pyramids. After exploring these world re-owned ruins, you can visit Xplor, the newest eco theme park in the Mayan Riviera and zipline directly into a cenote (underground water cavern). After, cruise over to the beaches of Tulum, aptly named the best beaches in the Yucatan Peninsula. Tulum’s stretch of coastline consists of fancy resorts, vegan restaurants, health spas, yoga studios. Outdoor opportunities include scuba diving, snorkeling, kite surfing, mangrove tours, and swimming in cenotes.

Where: San Juan Teotihuacán, State of Mexico, Mexico

Ciudad Prehispánica de Teotihuacán is home to the most famous Mexico City pyramids. Discover the awe-inspiring Aztec pyramids at Teotihuacan, located 30 miles outside of Mexico City. Teotihuacán has two famous pyramids known as the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon. The two gigantic pyramids dominate the landscape. Check out the most known Aztec site in Mexico. A trip to Mexico would not be complete without visiting world-renowned Teotihuacán and climbing the Pyramid of the Sun.

Where: Tinum, Yucatan, Mexico

By far the most well known ancient Mayan ruins and Mexico pyramids, Chichen Itza is a popular day trip for travelers staying in Cancun and a well preserved ancient city. The main highlight of Chichén Itzá is the famous El Castillo pyramid, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The well preserved ancient city has other jaw-dropping structures such as the El Caracol observatory and the Temple of the Warriors. Historically, a major urban center of lowland Maya culture, Chitzen Itza houses numerous monuments of world importance and fame. As a center of historical significance since 1000 AD, Chichen Itza is home to the well-known monuments like the Great Ball Court, the Temple de Los Guerreros, and the Ossario pyramid. It is also the site of a unique natural sinkhole called the Sacred Cenote, which was used as a human sacrifice site. A large quantity of priceless archeological artifacts and human remains have been unearthed at Chichén Itzá. The stone-stepped pyramid of El Castillo lives up to its world fame. The grand structure of El Castillo was dedicated as a place of worship to the Maya feathered serpent god Kukulkan.

Where: Adolfo López Mateos, Chiapas, Mexico

The Temple of Inscriptions is the largest stepped-pyramid at Palenque and resting place of Lord Pakal. This Mexico pyramid has built as a funerary monument of an important Mayan leader. The Temple of Inscriptions records approximately 180 years of the ancient city's history. This famed archaeological site is located a nine hour drive from Cancun and a great day trip to add to your Mexico Tour.

Where: San Andrés Cholula, Puebla, Mexico

The Great Pyramid of Cholula, also known as Tlachihualtepetl, is part of a huge network of pyramids near Mexico City. The Zona Arqueológica de Cholula is around two hours away from Mexico City. Located in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico, The Great Pyramid of Cholula is the largest archaeological site of a pyramid in Central America and the largest pyramid known to exist in the world today.

Where: El Tajin, Veracruz, Mexico

El Tajin was one of the most important ancient cities of Mesoamerica. The ancient city flourished from 600 – 1200 AD, inhabited by people from diverse parts of México. The impressive Aztec pyramids and monuments of El Tajin include the Pyramid of the Niches, Building 5 (also a pyramid) and other pyramid-shaped temples. El Tajin is around four hours away from Mexico City, located near the beach town and adventure hub of Veracruz.

Where: Campeche, Mexico

Calakmul was one of the largest and most powerful ancient cities uncovered in the Mayan lowlands. Calakmul was a major Mayan power hub within the Yucatán Peninsula of southern Mexico. Structure II is a district landmark of the famous Calakmul pyramids in México. This colossal ruin stands at more than 148 ft in height, making it one of the tallest of the Mayan pyramids in Mexico.

Where: Monte Carmelo, Quintana Roo, Mexico

The ancient Mayan city of Coba built around two lagoons is driving distance from Cancun. The adventurous and hidden Coba ruins encompass gorgeous jungle scenery and climbable temples. Bikes are available for rent so visitors can explore the large ancient city with ease. The renowned Coba ruins are the site of the largest network of stone causeways and roads in the ancient Mayan world. The Coba structures show influences from ancient Teotihuacan architecture, evidence that inhabitants had contact with Central Mexico. Steep steps lead up to the top of the Nohoch Mul pyramid, which reaches over one hundred and thirty feet tall. The Nohoch Mul Pyramid is the tallest Mayan pyramid on the Yucatan Peninsula. Coba’s Ancient Nohoch Mul Pyramid is open to the public if visitors wish to climb the one hundred and thirty steps. The pyramid in Mexico is a popular tourist destination, but the site is not overrun with tourists, so visitors experience the untouched feel of the ancient Mayan world.

Where: Ek Balam, Yucatan, Mexico

Ek Balam é composto por vários templos, dois palácios e a grande pirâmide El Torre, que está localizada no centro do antigo local. Aninhadas nas selvas do estado de Yucatán, essas estruturas escaláveis ​​ficam a cerca de duas horas a oeste de Cancún. O sítio Ek Balam tem várias estruturas grandes, incluindo a alta pirâmide principal de El Torre, adornada com esculturas lindamente preservadas. Essas pirâmides de Cancún são uma ótima maneira de vivenciar a cultura maia antiga sem as multidões.

Onde: Campeche, México

O estilo e as características de Edzná fazem dela uma cidade antiga que os turistas logo desejarão visitar antes de se tornar mundialmente famosa. Essas majestosas ruínas maias ficam a cerca de cinco horas de carro de Cancún. Edzna é mais conhecida por sua Grande Pirâmide de Edzna, a estrutura de cinco níveis que combina nitidamente uma pirâmide com um palácio. A Grande Praça e a quadra de bola abrangem locais significativos e fotogênicos dentro das ruínas. Devido à solidão desta joia escondida, explorar as ruínas de Edzna é comparável a Hiram Bingman em busca das pirâmides incas perdidas de Machu Picchu, na América do Sul.

É claro que México tem uma abundância de pirâmides histórica e culturalmente prevalentes para visitar. Cada site tem suas próprias ofertas exclusivas para os visitantes, que podem parecer opressoras ao tentar determinar quais são "imperdíveis" em sua próxima aventura. Felizmente, estamos aqui para ajudar a ajudar. Aqui no Global Basecamps, nos especializamos na criação de viagens personalizadas que atendem a todos os seus objetivos de viagem. Entre em contato e começaremos a planejar sua turnê pelo México hoje!

Para viajantes independentes que buscam experiências autênticas, a Global Basecamps é uma operadora de turismo especializada que oferece acesso exclusivo a destinos em todo o mundo.


Assista o vídeo: Tajín, la ciudad del relámpago. PIEDRAS QUE HABLAN (Janeiro 2022).