9581 - Middle Postclassic Polychromes of Cholula

Cholula was an important religious and pilgrimage city at the time Spaniards arrived to Mesoamerica. It was also well known for its production of fine polychrome ceramics that we now call “codex style” due to its decoration similar to the Mixtec and Borgia Group codices. Recent research shows that their painted imagery conformed a pictography that referred to essential notions of Mesoamerican religion, therefore suggesting their ritual and ceremonial use (Hernández 2005). Furthermore, Cholula’s archaeological record shows a long tradition of painted vessels since Early Postclassic times (900 – 1250 A.D.). This earlier corpus has not been fully investigated. In this presentation, a brief description of shapes, decoration and iconography of Middle Postclassic (1250 – 1450 A.D.) polychrome vessels is shown. It is expected to provide new insights into the development of painted Cholultecan pottery as well as to its transition towards the codex-style. This may represent a solid departure to study upon social, cultural, religious or political changes that occurred between Early and Late Postclassic times and that could have left traces on material culture.

Keywords: ceramics, polychromes, Middle Postclassic, Cholula

Author: Rojas Martínez Gracida, Araceli (Leiden University, Netherlands / Niederlande)


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