Saturday Art and Archaeology: Stela 9 at Lamanai, Belize

By: Saturday October 18, 2014 5:00 pm

The Mayan temple relics in Lamanai, Belize, contain a remarkable Stela that has preserved carving from the 6th Century A.D. that have remained decipherable by an accident, falling on its carved side so that the image and heiroglyphic writing have been preserved. The Stela appears to have stood for six centuries, although in disuse for the latter part of that time. Sacrifices that relate to the monument indicate its special significance, also.


Saturday Art and Archaeology: Rastrojón, Mountainside of Copán

By: Saturday October 4, 2014 11:15 am

What has been preserved by the remoteness of the region is a capsule of remains from a culture that dominated this area, lived well and profligately off the fecund region, and then disappeared or changed drastically at about 1000 A.D.

Saturday Art – Sila: Breath of the World, by John Luther Adams

By: Saturday September 20, 2014 6:40 pm

This year’s Pulitzer Prize for Musical Composition was awarded to my longtime friend and colleague, John Luther Adams. The award was specifically for a spacious new orchestral work of his, commissioned by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Become Ocean. But the prize for Adams, as is the case with others so honored, also reflects upon the Alaska master’s record of unique achievement over the decades.

The composer has long, at least up until recently, suffered having his name in the shadow of San Francisco-based composer, John Adams, with John Luther Adams often being called “the OTHER John Adams.” I’ve long referred to JLA as “the REAL John Adams.”

Saturday Art and Archaeology: Unique Discovery in Pennsylvania Dig

By: Saturday September 20, 2014 12:40 pm

Long hours patiently sifting through dirt and checking constantly for relics sometimes yield results that make those times golden, and that happened this summer in a dig in PA. The archaeological society of Venango County has worked for the past summers on an inhabitated locale that has turned up finds of tribal pottery and tools, evidence of processing and cooking, post holes for lodges, and among those artifacts has produced a remnant of woven appearance now being tested for composition that may be fabric. If this find proves to be fabric, it will be the only such piece found in this state for the late Woodland period from which these relics date, around 1150 – 1300 B.C. Charcoal dating has already established that period as the time of inhabitation from which the excavated relics originate.

Heady times in archaeology sometimes occur with no prior warning, and thanks go to Susette Jolley, who so delicately discovered, recognized, and brought the fabric to the attention of her fellows, so all concerned helped preserve the discovery.

Saturday Art and Archaeology; Maya Glyphs, Symbol Writings

By: Saturday September 13, 2014 1:00 pm

Use of symbols has characterized early communications as far back as petroglyphs, cave drawings, and our earliest art objects now for the most part being recovered from graves. Often, early art reflects a use of modeling that resembles the same element from other, far distant locations. Glyphs formed a Mayan means of communication, and have [...]

Saturday Art and Archaeology: Copán, Altar Q

By: Saturday September 6, 2014 7:07 pm

Among the treasures excavated at Copán Mayan Archaeological Site is the Altar Q that represents a lineage that has been traced from its origins to the regime in power at the time of its construction. Each historical figure is recognizable by the glyphs that associate with him.

Saturday Art and Archaeology: Copán, Rosalila

By: Saturday August 30, 2014 5:02 pm

In the Mayan ceremonial center of Copán in Honduras, an ancient temple has been covered and preserved over the centuries by the builders themselves. Nicknamed ‘Rosalila’, it was preserved as it had been constructed and is considered as a sacred temple which had the main building of the Copán center built over it.

Saturday Art and Archaeology: Mayan Dedicatory Vessels

By: Saturday August 23, 2014 7:12 pm

Among the excavated items that form a large body of the pottery being studied from digging at Blue Creek, Belize, are the lip-to-lip vessels that occur in many of the temples now explored. These have revealed customs that played a part in the Maya society which ongoing archaeological science is ferreting out with its examination of the occurrence and content of the jars.

Intricate analysis of the vessels has been underway at the digs where I worked this July, and the content showed much about what the Maya celebrated and reverenced.

Saturday Art and Archaeology: Copán

By: Saturday July 26, 2014 7:00 pm

A major architectural and artistic wonder of the Mayan realm is found at Copán, in Honduras. While it had a rule of vast areas the Mayan center at Copán came to an end around 1000 A.D. for causes that are the subject of speculation but no certitude. It was built and lasted for generations detailed on the Hieroglyphic Staircase and stayed a ruling ceremonial center beginning somewhere in the area of 600 B.C. until its sudden decline.

Saturday Archaeology: Digging the Mayans in Stages

By: Saturday July 19, 2014 4:00 pm

A first lesson in rediscovering the Mayan architecture that built their many impressive temples has been that each successive generation took a lesson from the past, and covered the existing structure with another. While digging at the Blue Creek, Belize, Maya Research Program dig, we were finding the later layers, recording the data we found, then going deeper to find the preceding structures. To find a Mayan pyramid means that you have found the last, top, layer of the civilization that built it and under that structure there is another, earlier, one.

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