Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

REINTERPRETING THE PLAZA DE LOS GLIFOS, LA VENTILLA, TEOTIHUACAN

  • Jesper Nielsen (a1) and Christophe Helmke (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

We present a reinterpretation of the unique group of painted glyphs of the Plaza de los Glifos, in the La Ventilla residential area (ca. a.d. 300–450) situated in the ancient central Mexican metropolis of Teotihuacan. Based on a careful review of previous interpretations of the glyphic La Ventilla floor, the writing system, and the possible language(s) of Teotihuacan, we suggest that the majority of the 42 glyphs are not references to toponyms or titles, but are related to disease-causing entities and curing rituals. Crucial to this proposal is the identification of two glyphic representations of a ‘deer-snake,’ a supernatural creature closely tied to diseases and ailments known throughout most of Mesoamerica and beyond, before and after the conquest. We further argue that contemporary and colonial concepts and practices concerning illness and curing offer ways of understanding several other glyphs from La Ventilla and may serve to account for the unusual placement of the signs.

Copyright
Corresponding author
E-mail correspondence to: jnielsen@hum.ku.dk
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Lyle Campbell 1985 The Pipil language of El Salvador. Mouton Grammar Library, No. 1. Mouton Publishers, Berlin.

Lyle Campbell , Terrence Kaufman , and Thomas C. Smith-Stark 1986 Meso-America as a Linguistic Area. Language 62:530570.

Karen Dakin 2003 Uto-Aztecan in the Linguistic Stratigraphy of Mesoamerican Prehistory. In Language Contacts in Prehistory: Studies in Stratigraphy, edited by Henning Andersen , pp. 259288. John Benjamins, Philidelphia and Amsterdam.

Karen Dakin , and Søren Wichmann 2000 Cacao and Chocolate: A Uto-Aztecan Perspective. Ancient Mesoamerica 11:5575.

Kelley Hays-Gilpin , and Jane H. Hill 1999 The Flower World in Material Culture: An Iconographic Complex in the Southwest and Mesoamerica. Journal of Anthropological Research 55:137.

William R. Holland , and Roland G. Tharp 1964 Highland Maya Psychotherapy. American Anthropologist 66:4152.

Stephen Houston , John Robertson , and David Stuart 2000 The Language of Classic Maya Inscriptions. Current Anthropology 41:321–256.

Terrence Kaufman 1976 Archaeological and Linguistic Correlations in Mayaland and Associated Areas of Meso-America. World Archaeology, 8:101118.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Ancient Mesoamerica
  • ISSN: 0956-5361
  • EISSN: 1469-1787
  • URL: /core/journals/ancient-mesoamerica
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 16
Total number of PDF views: 63 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 234 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 26th July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.