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date: 17 October 2019


  • Julia Guernsey


Pre-Columbian site located in the foothills above the Pacific coastal plain in the Soconusco region of modern Chiapas, Mexico, which reached its apogee during the Late Preclassic period (300 BCE–c. 250 CE). The Late Preclassic period witnessed the florescence of a unique mode of artistic expression known as the “Izapan style,” which takes its name from the site of Izapa. The ruins of Izapa were first reported by José Coffin in 1935 in a letter to Ignacio Marquina (Marquina 1939, 40) who, along with other early scholars such as Carlos Culebro (1939), Matthew Stirling (1941, 1943), and Philip Drucker (1951), were drawn to the site and its impressive corpus of monuments. According to Matthew Stirling, who led the 1941 National Geographic–Smithsonian Institution expedition to Izapa, the impetus for the project came from the renowned artist and Olmec scholar Miguel Covarrubias, who had told Stirling of a site with many stone monuments near the city of Tapachula, Chiapas....

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