ArtLex Art Dictionary

 

 

 

PPre-Columbian - Refers to the time in the Americas before the sixteenth century — before Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492 with the first wave of European colonists / invaders.

 

Examples:

 

 

see thumbnail to leftMexico, Puebla State, Olmec peoples, "Baby" Figure, 12th-9th century BCE, ceramic, pigment, height 13 3/8 inches (34 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

 

 

Mexico: state of Guerrero, Ahuelican, Highland Olmec, Middle Formative period, 900-500 BCE, Tablet , which has an incised glyphic inscription, greenstone, 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 3/4 inches, Dallas Museum of Art. See tablet.

 

 

see thumbnail to rightPeru, Jequetepeque Valley, Tembladera, Feline-Head Bottle, 6th-4th century BCE, ceramic, post-fired paint, height 6 5/8 inches (16.8 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

 

 

see thumbnail to leftPeru, Ica Valley, Mantle, 2nd-1st century BCE, Paracas, camelid hair, 54 1/4 x 74 3/8 inches (137 x 188.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. Images of twelve "oculate beings" are worked into this mantle by a technique called interlinked sprang, which replicates the pattern in mirror image on either side of the vertical center. See textile.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightPeru, Nasca Valley, Nasca peoples, Drum, 1st century BCE - 2nd century CE, polychrome ceramic, height 17 3/4 inches (45.1 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

 

 

Central America, Costa Rica, Guanacaste-Nicoya, Rosales Zoned Engraved Female Effigy, Period IV, 300 BCE - 300 CE, bichromatic ceramic, 12 3/4 x 9 1/4 inches (32.1 x 23.3 cm), Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory U, Atlanta, GA. See effigy.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to leftPeru, Paracas Peninsula, Border Fragment, 1st-2nd century, cotton, camelid hair, length 41 1/4 inches (104.8 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See fragment.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightEcuador or Colombia, Tolita-Tumaco peoples, Standing Figure, 1st-5th century, hammered gold, height 9 inches (22.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

 

 

see thumbnail to leftPanama, Double Eagle Pendant, 1st-5th century, Initial Style, cast gold, height 4 3/8 inches (11.1 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See jewelry and pendant.

 

 

Mesoamerica, Highland Guatemala, Maya, Lidded Bowl with Jaguar - Old Man, Transformation Figure, Early Classic Period, 200-550 CE, ceramic, diameter 7 7/8 x 4 5/8 inches (19.7 x 11.6 cm), Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory U, Atlanta, GA. See Mesoamerican art.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightPeru, North Coast, Moche peoples, Pair of Earflares, 3rd-7th century, gold, turquoise, sodalite, shell, diameter 3 3/16 inches (8 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to leftChile, San Pedro de Atacama region, Snuff Tray, 4th-10th century, wood, length 5 1/8 inches (13 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightColombia, Cauca River Valley (?), Quimbaya, Lime Container (Poporo), 5th-10th century, cast gold, height 9 inches (22.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

 

 

 

Mexico or Guatemala, Maya peoples, Seated Figure, 6th century, wood, height 14 inches (35.6 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

 

 

 

Mexico, Central Highlands, Teotihuacan peoples, Standing Figure, 7th-mid 8th century, greenstone, remnants of cinnabar, height 16 1/8 inches (41 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to leftPeru, Huarmey Valley (?), Moche-Wari peoples, Tunic, 7th-9th century, cotton, camelid hair, height 34 1/4 inches (87 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See textile.

 

 

see thumbnail to rightPeru (south coast), Nasca-Wari peoples, Tunic, 7th-9th century, camelid hair, 21 1/2 x 43 1/4 inches (54.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See textile.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to leftGuatemala or Mexico, Mayan, Relief of Shield Jaguar and Lady Xoc, c. 8th century.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightGuatemala, Petén Department, Maya peoples, Vessel with Mythological Scene, 8th century, ceramic, height 5 1/2 inches (14 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See cylinder and mythology.

 

 

see thumbnail to leftGuatemala, Maya peoples, Vase with Snake Design, 8th century - 9th century, earthenware, height 6 1/8 inches, Minneapolis Institute of Arts. See snake.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightMexico, Yucatan Peninsula, Maya peoples, El Castillo, pyramid at Chichen Itza, c. 9th century. See pyramid.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to leftSouth America, Central Andes, Central Coast, Chancay, Openwork Headcloth, Late Intermediate Period, 1000-1470 CE, cotton, embroidered square mesh openwork, 32 x 32 inches (81 x 81 cm), Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory U, Atlanta, GA. See textile.

 

 

South America, Central Andes, North Coast, Chímu-Lambayeque, Pair of Earspools, Late Intermediate Period, 1000-1470 CE, repoussé gold-copper alloy and silver alloy, diameter of disk 3 x 4 7/16 inches (7.5 x 11.1 cm diameter of disk), Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory U, Atlanta, GA. See jewelry.

 

 

Central America, Costa Rica, Guanacaste-Nicoya, Pataky, Vessel in the Form of a Jaguar, Pataky Variety, Period VI, 1000 - 1550 CE, polychrome ceramic, diameter 12 1/16 x 8 7/8 inches (30.2 x 22.2 cm), Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory U, Atlanta, GA. See vessel.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightCosta Rica, Puntarenas Province, Chiriquí, Frog Pendant, 11th-16th century, cast gold, height 4 1/8 inches (10.5 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See jewelry and Pre-Columbian art.

 

 

South America, central Andes, Inca, Paccha (Ritual Watering Vessel), Late Horizon, 1438-1550 CE, ceramic, 13 1/2 x 5 1/8 x 3 1/2 inches (33.8 x 12.8 x 8.8 cm), Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory U, Atlanta, GA.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to leftPeru, south highlands, Inka peoples, Tunic, 15th-16th century, camelid hair, cotton, 37 x 29 3/4 inches (94 x 75.6 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See textile.

 

 

see thumbnail to rightMexico, central highlands, Aztec peoples, Water Goddess, 15th-early 16th century, basalt, pigment, height 11 3/5 inches (29 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

 

 

see thumbnail to leftDominican Republic (?), Taino peoples, Deity Figure (Zemí), 15th-16th century, Taino, ironwood, shell, height 26 31/32 inches (68.4 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

 

 

 

Related Links:

 

 

Also see archaeology, ethnic, Mesoamerican art, and Mexican art.

 

 

 

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