Heart of Creation: The Mesoamerican World and the Legacy of Linda Schele

Overview

This accessible, state-of-the-art review of Mayan hieroglyphics and cosmology also serves as a tribute to one of the field's most noted pioneers.

The core of this book focuses on the current study of Mayan hieroglyphics as inspired by the recently deceased Mayanist Linda Schele. As author or coauthor of more than 200 books or articles on the Maya, Schele served as the chief disseminator of knowledge to the general public about this ancient Mesoamerican culture, similar to the ...

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Overview

This accessible, state-of-the-art review of Mayan hieroglyphics and cosmology also serves as a tribute to one of the field's most noted pioneers.

The core of this book focuses on the current study of Mayan hieroglyphics as inspired by the recently deceased Mayanist Linda Schele. As author or coauthor of more than 200 books or articles on the Maya, Schele served as the chief disseminator of knowledge to the general public about this ancient Mesoamerican culture, similar to the way in which Margaret Mead introduced anthropology and the people of Borneo to the English-speaking world.

Twenty-five contributors offer scholarly writings on subjects ranging from the ritual function of public space at the Olmec site and the gardens of the Great Goddess at Teotihuacan to the understanding of Jupiter in Maya astronomy and the meaning of the water throne of Quirigua Zoomorph P. The workshops on Maya history and writing that Schele conducted in Guatemala and Mexico for the highland people, modern descendants of the Mayan civilization, are thoroughly addressed as is the phenomenon termed "Maya mania"—the explosive growth of interest in Maya epigraphy, iconography, astronomy, and cosmology that Schele stimulated. An appendix provides a bibliography of Schele's publications and a collection of Scheleana, written memories of "the Rabbit Woman" by some of her colleagues and students.

Of interest to professionals as well as generalists, this collection will stand as a marker of the state of Mayan studies at the turn of the 21st century and as a tribute to the remarkable personality who guided a large part of that archaeological research for more than two decades.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The insight we gain from the various authors into Schele's contributions and influence is enlightening."
Ethnohistory

"Essential to understanding how Maya studies have matured, due in large measure to Schele's efforts."
Choice

Library Journal
Linda Schele was a practicing artist who encountered the ruins of the Palenque dynasty (397-699 C.E.) in Chiapas, Mexico, in 1970 and, remarkably, soon thereafter shifted into academia as a major interpreter of Maya hieroglyphic writing and art. Her substantial writings include The Code of Kings with Peter Mathews, Justin Kerr, and Mac Duff; Hidden Faces of the Maya with Jorge Perez de Lara; and Maya Cosmos with David Friedel and Joy Parker. This volume, edited by art historian Stone (Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Images from the Underworld), was compiled after a seminar in Schele's honor following her untimely death in 1998. The book includes reflections on Schele's contributions to the field, an original article by Schele edited posthumously, nine original articles by other experts in the field, a bibliography of Schele's work, and a warm, personal set of recollections of her life and personality. The black-and-white illustrations and photographs are clear and interesting. Because the articles require some acquaintance with the field, this book is recommended for academic collections emphasizing Mesoamerica. Paula R. Dempsey, DePaul Univ. Lib., Chicago Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817311384
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 5/2/2002
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrea Stone is Professor of Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and author of Images from the Underworld: Naj Tunich and the Tradition of Maya Cave Painting.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 Reaching for the Stars: Linda Schele's Contributions to Maya Astronomy 13
3 Creation and the Ritual of the Bacabs 21
4 The Landscape of Creation: Architecture, Tomb, and Monument Placement at the Olmec Site of La Venta 34
5 Carved in Stone: The Cosmological Narratives of Late Preclassic Izapan-Style Monuments from the Pacific Slope 66
6 Gardening with the Great Goddess at Teotihuacan 83
7 Terminal Classic Sacred Place and Factional Politics at El Tajin, Veracruz 101
8 The Planet of Kings: Jupiter in Maya Cosmology 118
9 Ritual Circuits as Key Elements in Maya Civic Center Design 143
10 The Toponyms of El Cayo, Piedras Negras, and La Mar 166
11 Quirigua Zoomorph P: A Water Throne and Mountain of Creation 185
12 New Dance, Old Xius: The "Xiu Family Tree" and Maya Cultural Continuity after European Contact 201
13 The Workshops on Maya History and Writing in Guatemala and Mexico 216
14 The Schele Icon and Maya Mania: The Growth of Public Interest in Maya Epigraphy 238
App. 1 Bibliography of Linda Schele's Publications 247
App. 2 Schele-ana: Memories of Linda Schele 261
The Living Maya, the Mukta Antz Chingon, and Me: A Tale of Life and Death 261
This Will Blow Your Mind 264
The Rabbit Woman 266
Working with Linda 268
Writing on Through with Linda 270
Spider Eyes 272
The Age of Schele 276
Remembrances of Linda Schele at the University of Texas at Austin 279
Remembering the Blood of Kings 282
Linda Scholastica 287
References 291
Contributors 327
Index 331
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