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Art History 27 Week 1 Notes

by: James Judelson

Art History 27 Week 1 Notes Art History 27

James Judelson
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The first week of notes for Art History 27: Art and Architecture of Ancient Americas with Nair
Art and Architecture of Ancient Americas
S. E. Nair
Class Notes
Art, history, Art History, Art His 27, Nair, ancient




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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by James Judelson on Sunday April 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Art History 27 at University of California - Los Angeles taught by S. E. Nair in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 226 views. For similar materials see Art and Architecture of Ancient Americas in Art History at University of California - Los Angeles.


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Date Created: 04/03/16
Week 1 Lecture 1: ● Exams are essay exams ● All of the americas ○ All was indian country up until recently ○ Still many indigenous peoples left ○ United States ■ Watson Break ● One of the oldest cities in the americas ● In louisiana ■ Poverty point ● Very important city ● Also in louisiana ● Based on water travel and trade ■ Serpent Mount ● Ohio ● Land art ● Brought up discussion of native origins ■ Newark works ● Ohio ● Huge site ○ Very large-scale and impressive to see ● Very important sacred space ● Had major roads leading to it ● A gulf course now ■ Cahokia ● Illinois ○ Way down south, not a very populated part of the state ○ Far from chicago, close to St. Louis ○ Neither state promotes it ● World heritage site ● Filled with foreign people (rarely see an american walking through it) ● Woodhenge ● Sat on the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers ○ Controlled the important part of the river ○ Allowed the city to expand ■ Mesaverde ● In the southwest ○ Area known for magnificent pottery ○ Not contained to the US border ■ Crosses into Mexico ● Build under overhanging cliff ■ Colonialism creates a break between past america and post-colonial america ○ Mexico ■ Teochitchican ● Mostly made of stone ○ Not out of ephemerals ■ Like American ones were ○ Separated from rivers ● Beautiful house compounds ● Art ○ Colors and iconography ■ Tikal ● Architecture and murals and sculpture ○ Some go back thousands of years before discovery ● Mayan ● Lists ○ First deciphered by non-mayan people very recently ○ Assumed to have been simple ■ Actually very complicated ■ Reason why it took so long to translate ■ Tenochtitlan ● Aztec capital ● Similar to venice ○ Marshy landscape and build islands around them ○ Huge city where primary transportation is water-ways ● Exquisite architecture and sculptures ○ Some address gods/deities, others war and sacrifice ○ South America ■ Many sites intentionally destroyed by spanish ● Searching for burial sites ○ Looting ○ Modern day also ■ Undertaken by locals ■ But demand is from the outside ● Often from LA ■ Moche ● Their art is very abstract ○ End of the artistic narrative tradition ■ Incas ● Went from small city state to one of the largest empires in the world in about 100 years ○ Administration ■ Streamline so much of their society ■ Solving multiple problems at the same time ● Machu Picchu ● Stone carving ○ Extremely simple and efficient ● Art ○ Some figurative but most abstract ○ Used for psychological warfare ■ About expressing their power in unexpected ways Week 1 Lecture 2 (Movie): ● Boat racing students find body on the bank of a river ● Columbia River Skeleton ○ One of the oldest ever found in the americas ○ Different features ■ First arrivals to the americas look different than modern day native americans ○ Local tribe wants to bury skeleton ■ Wants a voice ○ Discovery site sealed off to discourage future excavation ■ Large protests by archeologists ● Who owns the past? ○ NAGPA ■ 1990 ■ Congress passed it ■ Museums, schools, federal agencies must give remains back to native tribes ○ Native beliefs ■ Presence in ground ties the body/soul to that place ■ Soul lingers in the body ● Can be harmful if not buried properly ■ Desecration of graves can affect native medicine ○ Early settlers ■ Found corn fields and mounds (graves) ■ Decade before arrival of settlers ● Huge endemic on east coast ○ More than 90% mortality ■ Found stores of food ■ So much food, fields, village sites ● BUT NO PEOPLE ● Settlers saw this as a gift from god to them ● A thousand Skeletons ○ English settler digs up burial mound ■ Finds hundreds of skeletons ● Estimates 1000 ○ Jefferson knew that local indians built the mound he excavated ● The lost mound builders ○ Mounds so big in the western US, the european discoverers did not credit them to the indians ■ Instead to the phoenicians, others ○ Samuel G. Morton collected skulls of native americans ■ Measures skulls ● Smaller skulls mean less intelligence ● Developed scientific racism ○ Humanity can be ranked from higher to lower ○ Believed indians to be less intelligent because skulls smaller ■ Idea came that you can determine race by the physical morphology of a person ● Horrific acts ● Mulberry Creek Massacre (DATE) ○ Pawnee being devastated by the Sioux and smallpox ○ Whites in Pawnee, Kansas hunting grounds ■ Appealed to army for protection against indian raids ■ Pawnee were a friendly tribe ● Foraging parties headed south towards Kansas ● Allied with the US government ○ Pawnee scouts ○ Trackers ○ fighters/railroad guards ○ January 29, (DATE) ■ Pawnee stopped at house asking for food ● Chased away ● Fled down Mulberry Creek ■ 6 Pawnee dead ● They had fought for the US ○ Friar sent 26 heads to washington ○ Pawnee wanted justice since the 6 dead had fought for the US ■ Army couldn't find record of the massacre ● The Vanishing Red Man ○ 1890 ○ Hopi in Arizona ■ One of the few tribes still in homeland ■ Resisted federal policies trying to bring them into civilized world ○ Group of Hopi brought throughout the country ■ Showed american army/navy ■ Told that natives who don't cooperate were wiped out ■ Came back to tribe and spread the news ■ Hopi forced to cooperate with US government ○ Vanishing indian sydrome ■ Phenomenon in the late 1880s ■ Museums sponsored formal expeditions to native tribal groups ● Cushing sent to Hopi and Zuni tribes ○ Offered trade goods ○ Hopi lands had undergone several seasons of very dry weather ■ Food and supplies dwindling ○ Hopi had to trade for food ● Fossils (1925) ○ Folsom site in new Mexico ■ Pushed human timeline back to after the ice age ■ Found human tools amongst bones of bison ● At the same time as mammoths, saber-toothed tigers ● We’re here (1970) ○ Native americans spoke up ■ Inspired by civil rights movements ■ Empowerment movement/American indian movement ● Reconnecting to who we are as native people spiritually ● How to take care of this desecration that occurred ● The Indian Burial Pit ○ Kansas ○ Price family ran it as a roadside attraction ○ Desecrated burial site ■ Idea that people would visit here is very harmful to spiritual and mental well-being ○ Kansas wanted to turn it into a museum in 1986 ■ Instead, Kansas bought the burial pit in order to close it down ○ What right do europeans have to dig up burial sites, make profit, exploit ● Nebraska State Historical Society ○ Lincoln, Nebraska ○ Tribal cemeteries ■ Dug up and plundered in 1870s and on ○ Value system that transcends indian interests ■ Digging up skeletons in fields ○ Pawnee and Mr. Hill in close contact ■ Tribe seemed to approve of A. T. Hill’s work ○ Conflict ■ Modern tribes arguing that this was not legal ■ Government and Hill’s peers claim that it was done with the Pawnee tribe’s consent ■ Hill sold collection to historical society for $1 ■ Museums claim that this is the only record ● Do museums bend to public pressure? ● Scientists say that they need the remains in order to complete research ○ State law mandated that the return must be necessary ■ Scientists and museums mad because the tribes get to dictate that they can study and for how long ● The Dickson mounds ○ Lewistown, Illinois ○ Roadside attraction ○ Dr. Dickson would go into graves and talk about the culture ■ Brought out sensitivity towards american indians ● Strong person who lived with the land ■ Fostered respect and knowledge about Native Americans ○ Museum build above site after Dr. Dickson’s death ○ Debate ■ Indian representatives vs. local people ■ Native Americans physically jump into pit and bury the bones ● Not legal ● Fight against authority ■ Dickson Mound Museum closed, stopped public viewing ■ Argument of locals ● Young people confront mortality ○ Recognize that the indians were actually people ○ Fosters respect ■ Culture and heritage had been taken over by scientific peoples ● Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (1990) ○ NAGPRA ■ Must give all remains, artifacts, etc. back to tribes ■ Culmination of the Indian Activism that started in the late 60’s ■ Smithsonian returns the all remains, including the 6 Pawnee remains from Mulberry Creek ● Buried in a cemetery in Nebraska ○ Back with the creater ● Kennewick Man ○ 1996 (1 year after Pawnee scouts reburial) ○ Recent genetic evidence ■ Shows that people came to the US along the pacific rim ● Maybe using small boats ■ Early remains resemble japanese/other asians ● Came before mongolian/northers asian migration over the land bridge ○ An old man who was beaten up a great deal and endured a whole lot ■ Scientists want to study him ■ Natives want to rebury it ■ Should this man be exempt from study since he resembles the people before the land bridge migration ● Themes in the film ○ Scientific study vs. respecting someone’s culture ■ Kennewick man ● Scientists saw him as historical record ○ Could make more formal history ● Natives know where they came from ○ Already know their history ○ Passionate about how bodies are looked at and handled ○ Artifacts tied to culture, feelings, historical processes ○ Issue of firsts ■ Western scientific thought holds a different perspective of time than that in native cultures ● How do we understand time ○ Linear ○ Cyclical ■ Gives a cultural significance ● Important in the Americas because of the idea of legitimacy ● Huge structures ○ Western settlers believed that they must have been made by ‘civilized’ group ○ Smaller structures attributed to indians ● Desire to map out history ○ Who was legitimate ○ Skull size ■ Means to put down natives ○ Lens of looking at the past ■ Deeply clouded by contemporary ideas ■ How to look into past/who has the right to determine what we use to look into the past ● Native people have a right in determining how we deal with these things ● Very much in the present still, however ○ Debates still occur over what should be studied or not ○ How objects are valued ■ Scientists ● Valued for their historical value ○ What can it tell us about the past ■ Indigenous communities ● View the objects as alive ○ Has a spirit ○ Has cultural meaning ● Has an essence ○ Kami ■ Animated breadth ○ Indigenous history ■ Millions of indigenous people just in the US ● Not just in history books ■ Huge issue in US society now ● Most people do not know major native sites ○ Most europeans know way more about native american history than people in the US ● Need education reform


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