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5420 - Visual communication within and without south-central Veracruz

The onset of the Classic Period witnessed new modes of visual communication in the Gulf lowlands. In south-central Veracruz (ca 50 BCE-CE 250) hieroglyphic inscriptions, pictorial representation, and a highly developed semiotic system are invigorated with stylistic, glyphic, and iconographic ties to the Late Preclassic Maya lowlands and Isthmian cultures. Between CE 250-600, aesthetic sensibilities shift, exhibiting stylistic, glyphic and iconographic affinity with the Classic lowland Maya and Teotihuacan; trends most notable at Cerro de las Mesas. While allying itself with ascendant Mesoamerican powers, the Mixtequilla-Tuxtlas area was not merely a passive recipient of “foreign” influences. Rooted in Olmec traditions, the region retained strong elements of its earlier cosmology and symbolism. Artists found fresh venues for themes such as shamanic transformation, or invented new modes for the depiction of rulers, animate forces, and deities. Concurrently, they used traditional forms and materials in novel ways. As active players in the greater realm of Classic period interactions, Veracruz contributed and integrated a changing visual vocabulary of signs, symbols, and hieroglyphs that became part of evolving canons of representation in ancient Mesoamerica.

Autores: Wyllie, Cherra (University of Hartford, Ud States of Am / USA)

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