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PCSNY April 25 Lecture-Javier Urcid

April 25 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Coloring the Script of Teotihuacan

Javier Urcid, Professor in Anthropology, and Jane’s Chair in Latin American Studies, Brandeis University

Rollout drawing of a Teotihuacan painted jar. Image courtesy of Javier Urcid.

Abstract. It has long been recognized that Teotihuacan was a colored city, yet epigraphic data is usually published in black and white. The rendering of multiple painted surfaces, or of cylindrical tripod vessels inscribed all around are analytically reduced to an atomistic level, without furthering the study to a synthetic one. This fractioning of the evidence, compounded with an already fragmented archaeological legacy, renders certain scribal patterns invisible. By pursuing a phenomenological path, like that of a copyist scribal apprentice, the two-dimensional color drawings of dozens of murals and tripod vessels allows positing the hypothetical reconstruction of larger scenes, revealing further aspects of the ancient worldview and of the way it was represented and apprehended.

Speaker Biography. Javier Urcid received his doctoral degree from Yale University. His area of interest is ancient Mesoamerican history and socio-cultural processes. He has written on Oaxacan scribal traditions, Huastec shell ornaments, Classic-period Veracruz settlement patterns, Zapotec mortuary practices, and the taphonomy and symbolism of human sacrifice in Mesoamerica. He teaches anthropological archaeology at Brandeis University, is intrigued about the skeletal anatomy of Jurassic whales, and ponders what may lay on the dark side of the moon.

Thursday April 25, 2024

6:00 pm EST


Institute of Fine Arts-NYU



April 25
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Pre-Columbian Society of New York


Institute of Fine Arts–NYU
1 E. 78th Street
New York, United States
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