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Jeremy A. Sabloff


Pre-Columbian Maya site on a hill overlooking the Río Pasión, c. 16 km east of Sayaxche in the Southern Maya Lowlands of Petén, Guatemala. Excavations and surveys were conducted in the 1960s by the Peabody Museum of Harvard University, under the direction of Gordon R. Willey and A. L. Smith. The ceremonial center of Ceibal covers c. 1 sq. km, while the overall settlement extends throughout the 25 sq. km zone surveyed by Gair Tourtellot. The density of settlement varied with the topography. Ceibal is best known for its Late Classic–period (c. 600–c. 900 ce) occupation, having enjoyed a brief but significant florescence during the 9th century, when many other Classic Maya sites in the Southern Lowland area were collapsing. During this period the site was invaded by non-Classic Maya peoples from the Gulf Coast lowlands, an intrusion that is particularly evident in the sculpture, ceramics, and architecture of Ceibal. The well-preserved carved stelae feature a number of foreign elements, including non-Classic hieroglyphs and clothing. Twenty-two such monuments have been found at Ceibal, the vast majority of which were erected after ...


Fernández, Teresita  

Cuban-American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 12 May 1968, in Miami (Florida).

Sculptor, draughtswoman, installation artist, mixed media artist.

Teresita Fernández lives and works in Brooklyn. She received her BFA from Florida International University in 1990 and her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1992. Although her earliest works relate to architecture and how people engage with space, Fernández is best known for her landscapes in the form of sculpture, drawing, and installation. Space is a common theme for Fernández who is interested in how a viewer walks through and engages with her installations. Drawing is also an important element of her work, such as in Fire (2005), a sculpture of silk yarn and epoxy composed on a steel armature such that the individual threads recall the lines of a drawing. The lines of the sculpture also resemble branches reflecting the importance of nature in her work. Ink Mirror...


Monteiro [Bacellar], Paulo  

Ana Avelar

(b São Paulo, 1961).

Brazilian painter, sculptor, and designer. Monteiro is recognized as a key figure of the Brazilian art scene that emerged in the 1980s. While still in school in the 1970s, Monteiro drew for local comic books due to an interest in the work of Robert Crumb and George McManus. In 1980 he began to study at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes of São Paulo. In 1981 Monteiro viewed the work of American painter Philip Guston at the 16th International Biennial of São Paulo in 1981. This important exhibition had a profound impact on Monteiro’s painting in the years to come.

Beginning in 1983, he worked in a collective studio with Antonio Malta Campos (b 1961), Carlito Carvalhosa (b 1961), Fabio Miguez (b 1962), and Rodrigo Andrade (b 1962). Malta left the group and Nuno Ramos (b 1960) took his place. The art critic Aracy Amaral named the group Casa 7 (House #7)—after the place where the studio was located—when she curated a show with their works at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea at the university of São Paulo in ...



Robert J. Sharer

Site of Pre-Columbian Maya Southern Lowland city on the Motagua River flood plain in Guatemala, 100 km from the Caribbean. Quiriguá flourished in the Classic period (c. 250–c. 900 ce) and is famous for its sculpted monuments, the largest and among the most beautiful produced by the ancient Maya. Photographs and drawings were published by A. P. Maudslay from 1889 to 1902, and the site has been the subject of several excavations, most recently by the University of Pennsylvania (1974–1979).

Ancient Quiriguá covered c. 4 sq. km, but only the largest structures and carved stone monuments rise above 1–2 m of recent alluvium. Most are concentrated at the site core, covering c. 500 sq. m. The sandstone and rhyolite monuments include upright stelae, flat altars, and zoomorphic sculptured boulders. Most combine historical texts with portraits of Quiriguá’s rulers being presented with symbols of authority to reinforce their earthly and supernatural power. The monuments were erected in the Great Plaza (300 × 150 m). A massive, buried platform in the northern third supports Monuments 1–7 (five stelae and two zoomorphs), all dedicated during the final twenty-four years of the reign of Quiriguá’s greatest ruler, ...


Río Azul  

George E. Stuart

Site of Pre-Columbian Maya culture in the northeast of the tropical rainforest of Petén, Guatemala. It was discovered in 1962 by oil prospectors, and Richard E. W. Adams and John Gatling carried out preliminary excavations and mapping on behalf of Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, and the Instituto de Antropología e Historia de Guatemala in the same year. Pottery samples from the first test pits indicated that the site was occupied from the Late Preclassic period (c. 300 bcec. 250 ce) to the end of the Classic period (c. 900 ce). Its standing stone buildings, some of which were well preserved, resembled those at Tikal, a much larger Maya site 75 km to the southwest. In 1981 Ian Graham of Harvard University discovered that many of the large pyramids at Río Azul had been cut into and looted; because of this, Adams returned to the site in ...


Rosario, El  

Olivier de Montmollin

Valley forming part of the Upper Grijalva tributaries region on the southwestern edge of the Lowland Maya area in Chiapas, Mexico. It was the site of several Pre-Columbian settlements noted for their Classic period (c. 250–c. 900 ce) art. The nearest large Maya centers are Chinkultic in the Comitán Highlands and Yaxchilan, Bonampak, and Piedras Negras in the Lacandón jungle, running eastward to the Usumacinta River. Ceramics predating the Classic period suggest that the upper tributaries were originally inhabited by speakers of the non-Maya Zoque language. However, the ceramics and iconography of the Classic period suggest that by this date the area was inhabited by speakers of Maya and that close links had been established with the Lowland Maya area. Between the collapse of the Classic Lowland Maya culture (c. 800–c. 950 ce) and the Spanish Conquest (1521 ce ), close links existed with the Highland Maya cultures of Guatemala....


Salamá Valley  

Robert J. Sharer

Intermontaine basin immediately north of Motagua Valley in the northern Maya Highland area of Guatemala, covering an area of c. 74 sq. km and with an average elevation of c. 1000 m. The region was investigated in 1972–1974 by Robert J. Sharer and David W. Sedat for the Verapaz Project of the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania. Twenty-four Pre-Columbian sites were located within the valley, twenty-one of which were sampled by surface surveys and nine by excavations. The data from this work indicate that the sedentary occupation of the valley dates to between c. 1200 bce and the Spanish Conquest in the 1520s.

The first peak of local socio-political development began in the Middle Preclassic period (c. 1000–c. 300 bce) and culminated in the Late Preclassic period (c. 300 bcec. 250 ce). A second, more rapid developmental cycle peaked during the Late Classic period (...



Richard Lunniss

Pre-Columbian site in Manabí Province on the central coast of Ecuador, centered at the southern end of a sandy bay, sheltered by a headland and Salango Island. It had several phases of occupation, paralleled on nearby La Plata Island.

An early Valdivia culture settlement, indicated by ceramics, stone artifacts, and animal remains and dated by radiocarbon analysis to the 4th or late 3rd millennium bce, lay between the beach and a lagoon. Extending over the area of the lagoon was a Machalilla-phase midden containing a high density of fish bone and shell, and many mother-of-pearl fish-hooks. Thirty-eight individuals were found in graves cut through the midden, for which radiocarbon analysis has given dates in the second half of the 2nd millennium bce. Attributes of the Chorrera culture and Engoroy style are found in ceramics associated with a rectangular wooden structure built over a clay floor capping part of the Machalilla midden. The formal design of its construction and the more elaborate nature of the associated burials and depositions of artifacts suggest a ritual or ceremonial purpose. The dismantling of this building was immediately followed by the construction of the first of several low rectangular platforms surmounted by wooden structures. Later mounds were surrounded by clay-filled trenches supporting posts. Pottery of the Engoroy type, dated by radiocarbon analysis to the first half of the 1st millennium ...


Santa Lucía Cotzumalhuapa  

Janet Catherine Berlo


Pre-Columbian Highland Maya site in Escuintla, southern Guatemala, on the outskirts of the modern town of Santa Lucía Cotz. It is the type site of the Cotzumalhuapa art style also known at El Baul, El Castillo, Palo Verde, Palo Gordo, and other sites in the region. Both site and style flourished during the Classic period (c. 250–c. 900 ce). The ceremonial center of Santa Lucía of Cotzumalhuapa stood on a manmade acropolis surmounted by seventeen pyramidal platforms. L. A. Parsons recorded seventy-six stone monuments at the site, although only six remain in situ. In 1880, thirty monuments, including eight famous stelae of ballplayers from the Monument Plaza, were removed to the Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin. Other pieces are kept at the local finca (landed estate), Las Ilusiones, and at the Museo Nacional de Arqueologia y Etnologia, Guatemala City.

The Santa Lucía Cotzumalhuapa style, typically executed in a combination of high and low relief, is best known from stelae and other stone sculptures. The stelae, set in a vertical position, are rectangular stone slabs dressed on six sides but usually carved on only one face. The Berlin stelae are a coherent group, each depicting a ballplayer, shown in profile and carved in low relief, supplicating a front-facing sky deity in high relief. Irregularly shaped boulder sculptures also occur, and horizontally tenoned stone heads are common. Figural realism is common in the sculptures, and the imagery focuses on the relationship between humans and supernatural beings, portrayed in a frozen narrative suggestive of action and sequence. The central themes are concerned with death and include the ballgame, the sacrifice of trophy heads and hearts and skeletal imagery. There are strong iconographic similarities with the art of such central Mexican centers as ...



Jeremy A. Sabloff

Pre-Columbian Maya site set in a valley surrounded by low hills, 24 km southeast of Uxmal, between Kabáh and Labná in the Puuc region of the Northern Maya Lowlands of Yucatan, Mexico. It flourished during the Late Classic (c. 600–c. 900 ce) and Early Postclassic (c. 900–c. 1200 ce) periods. Sayil was one of the major Puuc sites that rose to prominence when the great Classic-period Southern Lowland sites collapsed and the center of lowland civilization shifted to the Northern Maya Lowland area. The central part of Sayil was mapped by the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1934, and small-scale, sporadic archaeological research continued at the site until the early 1980s. From 1983 to 1988 the Sayil Archaeological Project, directed by Jeremy A. Sabloff and Gair Tourtellot, undertook a full-scale settlement survey of Sayil, the first carried out at any Puuc region site. This revealed a heavily occupied urban zone covering ...