Sunday, December 14, 2008

08/09 Academic Decathlon Image #14

Tikal: Temple of the Giant Jaguar, Maya Civilization, 731 A.D., Cut stone masonry, 144.4 ft. (Pre-Hispanic Art)

This site is located in Guatemala and was thriving in the Classic Maya time period. Unlike the previous city at Teotihuacan (which was laid out on a grid), Tikal is arranged in a more organic manner, clustered around separate courtyards. They seem to have been created on an as needed basis, without a clear master plan.

This city had pyramids, monumental palaces and thatched houses that were on earth and stone mounds. Tikal had six temple-pyramids, and though the Temple of the Giant is not the highest, it is one of the most important. The jaguar was revered as a powerful animal that demonstrated divinity and leadership. One of the Mayan leaders, Jasaw Chan K'awiil was buried in this temple and identified with the Jaguar's power. In his tomb were typical afterworld objects - containers for food and liquid as well as personal ojects made of jade and precious materials.

Here are some quotes from your AcDec Art Resource Guide, but also check out the link in the image title for a website about Tikal National Park. "...the Temple of the Giant Jaguar is constructed of rubble and limestone blocks. It is a stepped pyramid built on nine levels. The pyramid is tall and quite steep...The pyramid was probably covered with plaster, and there are indications that some elements were painted.....The pyramid was a burial site, and it contained narrow pasageways and rooms, dome decorated with fresco paintings. The small size of the passageways and rooms within the temple indicates that it was not designed to hold large numbers of people at a time......it was built during the Late Classic Period."

3 comments:

Anne said...

What a great blog! I work in a family services organization in a Latino communtiy. I am excited to share your site with some of mis campaneras de trabajo. I have been to Guatemala, but not Tikal, but I love your knowledge and explanations of the art you have displayed. Thanks.

Daniel S. said...

This is really cool!! I've always wanted to go to a Mayan ruin site. I really like the nature of it and the effort that was probably put into building this pyramid!

Moncerrad E said...

This Mayan ruin site really drew my attention. I've been to the ones in the Yucatan Peninsula and it was an unforgettable experience. I think this is a form of art in a way. It's certainly not like a painting or a sculpture but to me and many others its art nonetheless. The texture looks rough and the colors are secondary and dull.
And i gotta hand it to the Mayans, their pyraminds are very much symmetrical.