Art History of Central America

comparative Essay
710 words
710 words

Art History of central America

Chavin de Huantar was located in Peru and developed around 900 B.C. late in the Initial Period. At an elevation of 3,150 m., Chavin de Huantar was situated at the bottom of Cordillera Blanca’s eastern slopes, approximately halfway between tropical forests and coastal plains. At the intersection of major routes, Chavin de Huantar was in the position to control the routes, increase their exchange with others, and receive goods that were not natural to their area. Chavin de Huantar was an agricultural society, home to a fairly large population.

The Old Temple was built during the late Initial Period and it was the “center of supernatural power and authority.” It was a U-shaped platform opening to the east with a circular courtyard in the center. The Old Temple also consisted of numerous passageways and chambers underground called galleries. These galleries were used for storage chambers, religious rites, and possibly temporary or permanent living for small groups working with temple activities. The Lanzon Gallery is located at the very center of the Old Temple. It was where the sculpture of the Lanzon was found. The Lanzon, the supreme deity of Chavin de Huantar, is anthropomorphic. With its feline head and human body, it has intertwined the feline deity of Chavin de Huantar and the shaman of the pre-Chavin period.

For the pre-Chavin period, the object of worship was the feline, but this was gradually changed. By the time of Chavin de Huantar, it was anthropomorphic. During this time, it was believed that priests could become jaguars and interact with the supernatural forces. This was achieved by taking hallucinogenic drugs as part of rituals at the Old Temple. There are many sculptures that decorate the Old Temple depicting the transformation of the priests. There have been mortars, pestles, conch-shell trumpets, and many other items with anthropomorphic design found and thought to be associated with Chavin rituals.

The New Temple “forms a continuum” with the Old Temple. The same belief system continues and there is evidence of the same rituals. The New Temple also has galleries and plazas.

The Lanzon, although in a different stance, continues to be a symbol of mediation and harmony. The right hand of the deity holds a Strombus shell, for male forces, and the left hand holds a Spondylus shell, for the female forces. The New Temple, however, did not replace the Old Temple.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that chavin de huantar was located in peru and developed around 900 b.c.
  • Explains that the old temple was built during the late initial period and it was the center of supernatural power and authority.
  • Explains that during the pre-chavin period, the object of worship was the feline, but this was gradually changed. by the time of chavin de huantar, it was anthropomorphic.
  • Compares the new temple with the old temple. the lanzon is a symbol of mediation and harmony.
  • Explains the social stratification in chavin de huantar by comparing excavated burial sites. the elite class was small, but their burial was elaborate.
  • Explains that the chavin civilization began to disappear around the third century b.c.
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