A Sourcebook of Nasca Ceramic Iconography: Reading a Culture Through Its Art
For almost eight hundred years (100 BC–AD 650) Nasca artists modeled and painted the plants, animals, birds, and fish of their homeland on Peru’s south coast as well as numerous abstract anthropomorphic creatures whose form and meaning are sometimes incomprehensible today. In this first book-length treatment of Nasca ceramic iconography to appear in English, drawing upon an archive of more than eight thousand Nasca vessels from over 150 public and private collections, Donald Proulx systematically describes the major artistic motifs of this stunning polychrome pottery, interprets the major themes displayed on this pottery, and then uses these descriptions and his stimulating interpretations to analyze Nasca society. After beginning with an overview of Nasca culture and an explanation of the style and chronology of Nasca pottery, Proulx moves to the heart of his book: a detailed classification and description of the entire range of supernatural and secular themes in Nasca iconography along with a fresh and distinctive interpretation of these themes. Linking the pots and their iconography to the archaeologically known Nasca society, he ends with a thorough and accessible examination of this ancient culture viewed through the lens of ceramic iconography. Although these static images can never be fully understood, by animating their themes and meanings Proulx reconstructs the lifeways of this complex society.
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Four Approaches to the Interpretation of Nasca Iconography
Five A Description and Interpretation of the Major Themes in Nasca Ceramic Iconography
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agricultural Andean animals Anthropomorphic Mythical archaeological atlatls ayllu Blasco and Ramos body bowls Cahuachi ceramic art date from Phase dating to Phase Dawson decapitation depicted designs double spout bottle Drawing by Elizabeth Early Horizon effigy effigy vessels elements Elizabeth Harlow examples excavated figurines fish forehead ornament geoglyphs geometric gravelots Harvester head jars Horrible Bird ibid Ica Valley identified Inca llama major Middle Horizon Moche modeled motifs mouth mask Museo mythical creatures Mythical Killer Whale Mythical Monkey Mythical Spotted Cat Nasca art Nasca ceramic Nasca culture Nasca drainage Nasca iconography Nasca Phase Nasca pottery Nasca society Nasca style Nasca Valley Nasca vessels naturalistic painted panpipes Paracas Paracas culture Peru Phoebe Apperson Hearst plants portrayed Proliferous Proulx representations represented ritual sample contains San Pedro cactus scenes seen Seler seriation signifer snakes south coast specimens Spondylus symbolic themes tradition trophy heads Uhle variety vases warriors Yacovleff