A Sourcebook of Nasca Ceramic Iconography: Reading a Culture by Donald A. Proulx

By Donald A. Proulx

For nearly 8 hundred years (100 BC–AD 650) Nasca artists modeled and painted the crops, animals, birds, and fish in their place of birth on Peru’s south coast in addition to quite a few summary anthropomorphic creatures whose shape and that means are often incomprehensible this day. during this first book-length therapy of Nasca ceramic iconography to seem in English, drawing upon an archive of greater than 8 thousand Nasca vessels from over a hundred and fifty private and non-private collections, Donald Proulx systematically describes the key inventive motifs of this wonderful polychrome pottery, translates the foremost topics displayed in this pottery, after which makes use of those descriptions and his stimulating interpretations to research Nasca society.

After starting with an outline of Nasca tradition and a proof of the fashion and chronology of Nasca pottery, Proulx strikes to the guts of his publication: an in depth class and outline of the total diversity of supernatural and secular issues in Nasca iconography in addition to a clean and distinct interpretation of those topics. Linking the pots and their iconography to the archaeologically identified Nasca society, he ends with a radical and available exam of this historical tradition considered in the course of the lens of ceramic iconography. even if those static photographs can by no means be absolutely understood, through animating their issues and meanings Proulx reconstructs the lifeways of this advanced society

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Extra resources for A Sourcebook of Nasca Ceramic Iconography: Reading a Culture through Its Art

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Strong’s most important discoveries included evidence for the earliest and latest phases of the Nasca style and the excavation of thirty-seven gravelots at the site of Cahuachi, which are now housed at Columbia University. He and his crew conducted a surface survey in the Nasca and Ica Valleys, which resulted in the listing and description of seventy-eight sites. About this same time (1954 – 1955), John Rowe and his colleagues Lawrence Dawson, Dorothy Menzel, Francis Rid­dell, and Dwight Wallace began a research project on the south coast, which included partial surveys in all of the principal valleys along with Menzel and Riddell’s test excavations at the site of Tambo Viejo in the Acarí Valley (Rowe 1956).

This is the earliest-known illustration of a Nasca ceramic vessel with proper provenience (see Eisleb 1977: pl. 81, for a photograph; Berlin catalog VA 4674). Charles Wiener (1880: 627) can be credited with publishing the first illustration of a Nasca vessel (a Phase 5 or 6 double spout bottle with a band of women’s faces surmounted by an indistinguishable design). He erroneously attributes this vessel to the Recuay area. Five more Nasca vessels were acquired by the Berlin Museum für Völkerkunde in 1888 as part of the Centeno Collection, making a total of eight when added to the three previously mentioned Macedo pieces.

In July and August of 1915 the young Peruvian Julio C. Tello undertook a reconnaissance of southern Peru and Bolivia. He spent some time in the Nasca Valley, visiting among other locations Cahuachi, Majoro, Ocongalla, Estaquería, and Las Salinas. , that same year, Tello (1917) described the form and construction of Nasca graves, discussed the deformed skulls of the mummies, and illustrated a selection of twenty drawings of mythical creatures that appeared on the pottery. In a later paper (Tello 1918) he was among the first to describe Nasca trophy heads and to compare them with Jívaro shrunken heads in an attempt to understand their significance.

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