Circles of Creation: The Invention of Maya Cartography in Early Colonial Yucatán

Solari, Amara L.
September 2010
Art Bulletin;Sep2010, Vol. 92 Issue 3, p154
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the cartography of the ancient Mayan ruins in Guatemala and Mexico that developed in early colonial Yucatán. The colonial town of Mani, in central Yucatán, where explorer John Lloyd Stephens was given a map by Mayan residents, is discussed. Topics include the visualization of local history through map-making, calendrical, circular, and linear aspects of aboriginal cartography, the Mani Land Treaty, Mayan infighting with the Itza, and the fall of the city of Chichen Itza. Also discussed are k'atun wheels, which depict units of time. The author argues that cartography emerged in the sixteenth century, during the early stages of the Spanish Conquest, and began a distinct visual discourse of colonial history.


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