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Human Figuration and Fragmentation in Preclassic Mesoamerica
From Figurines to Sculpture


  • Date Published: February 2020
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108478991

£ 83.99

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About the Authors
  • In this book, Julia Guernsey examines the relationship between human figuration, fragmentation, bodily divisibility, personhood, and community in ancient Mesoamerica. Contending that representation of the human body in the pre-classic period gradually became a privileged act, she argues that human figuration as well as the fragmentation of both human representations and human bodies reveals ancient conceptualizations of personhood and the relationship of individual to the community. Considering ceramic figurines and stone sculpture together with archaeological data, Guernsey weaves together evidence and ideas drawn from art history, archaeology, and anthropology to construct a rich, cultural history of Mesoamerican practices of figuration and fragmentation. A methodologically innovative study, her book has ramifications for scholars working in Mesoamerica and, more generally, those interested in the significance of human representation.

    • Provides the first study of both figurines and sculpture as key forms of Mesoamerican figuration
    • Presents an in-depth and sustained analysis of the deliberate fragmentation of objects and the sociocultural significance of these acts in Mesoamerican culture
    • Includes examples of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary analysis of artifacts and their contexts
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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108478991
    • length: 278 pages
    • dimensions: 285 x 222 x 19 mm
    • weight: 1.01kg
    • contains: 203 b/w illus. 1 map
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Preclassic figuration: epistemological premises and problems
    2. Monumental sculpture and the human form during the Early and Middle Preclassic periods
    3. Early and Middle Preclassic figuration in clay
    4. Figurines at Middle Preclassic La Blanca
    5. Figurines, fragmentation, and social ties
    6. Changing discourses of human representation in Late Preclassic Mesoamerica
    7. High culture and human representation in Late preclassic Mesoamerica.

  • Author

    Julia Guernsey, University of Texas, Austin
    Julia Guernsey is D. J. Sibley Family Centennial Faculty Fellow in Prehistoric Art at the University of Texas, Austin. She is the author of The Place of Stone Monuments (2010) and Sculpture and Social Dynamics in Preclassic Mesoamerica (2012).

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