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 a number of summary anthropomorphic creatures whose shape and which means are often incomprehensible at the present time. during this first book-length remedy 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 lovely 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 summary of Nasca tradition and an evidence of the fashion and chronology of Nasca pottery, Proulx strikes to the center of his publication: an in depth category and outline of the whole variety of supernatural and secular topics in Nasca iconography besides a clean and special interpretation of those subject matters. Linking the pots and their iconography to the archaeologically recognized Nasca society, he ends with an intensive and available exam of this historic tradition seen throughout the lens of ceramic iconography. even if those static photographs can by no means be absolutely understood, through animating their topics and meanings Proulx reconstructs the lifeways of this complicated society
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Additional resources for A Sourcebook of Nasca Ceramic Iconography: Reading a Culture through Its Art
No specific individuals are identifiable in Nasca iconography; individuals are portrayed in a “generic” form, with no idiosyncratic characteristics. Nasca pottery has no detectable scenes portraying class differentiation, no leaders being attended by subordinates or elaborately dressed elites interacting with others, as is common in the art of the Maya, Moche, and other early civilizations. We do see people of different occupations and ranks, from scantily clad farmers to shamans, warriors, and others identifiable by their distinctive costumes or accessories.
Dr. Macedo sent his collection to Europe in 1881 with the intention of finding a buyer. It was displayed in several cities, including Paris, before being purchased by the Königliches Museum für Völkerkunde in Berlin in 1884. Hamy (1882) wrote a short article on the collection and illustrated one of the Nasca vessels (a Nasca Phase 3 double spout bottle with a double-headed masked Serpentine Creature from the Ica Valley). This is the earliest-known illustration of a Nasca ceramic vessel with proper provenience (see Eisleb 1977: pl.
Nasca studies took a giant leap forward with the fieldwork of Alfred Louis Kroeber (1876–1960) in 1926. D. in the newly emerging discipline of anthropology, in 1901. In 1900 he accepted a position as curator of anthropology at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco (Rowe 1962c: 395). The following year he was selected as the first resident instructor in the newly founded Department of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley. The position was funded by Phoebe Apperson Hearst, the great benefactor of that institution, who was also supporting the fieldwork of Max Uhle in Peru at that time.