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Feathered serpent. Copy.

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Feathered serpent. Copy.
1st-3rd c Pre-Columbian: Mesoamerican Teotihuacan Painting

TEOTIHUACAN Anonymous (Early Classic c. 1 - 600) (c. 1 - 600) Primary
c. 1-300
1st-3rd c
Teotihuacan. Mexico.
San Francisco. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
Images of the plumed serpent were very common at Teotihuacan. This fresco shows him with water dripping from his body watering the plants that grow below. In Aztec times the plumed serpent symbolized wind and storms, and he may have had a similar meaning at Teotihuacan. In Asia dragons which have similar form are identified with the clouds and life-giving rain. A fresco from Teotihuacan, which has been reconstructed at the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City show a Tree of Life emerging from a plumed creature with rivers emerging from its base, while another shows small human figures disporting themselves in what has been called an "Eden of fertility" which contains animals, plants, and rivers. One cannot help but be struck by the similarity to the biblical Garden of Eden where the four rivers of paradise flow from the base of the Tree of Life. However, the bounty of nature did not come without a price, for the gods had to be appeased. Many Pre-Columbian legends relate that the gods sacrificed themselves to create the world and that human beings had a reciprocal duty for sacrifice. The incredible level of sacrifice offered by the Aztecs to their gods is well known from the records left by their Spanish conquerors, but we are gradually learning more about the sacrifices offered by earlier peoples in both Mesoamerica and the Andean civilizations. In 1990 the bodies of nearly one hundred sacrificial victims were discovered in the interior of the pyramid of the Feathered Serpent at Teotihuacan. Sacrificial rites may have been carried out at the dangerous period that marked the change from one time cycle to the next in order to bring about the continued blessings of the gods.

Caption: TEOTIHUACAN | Feathered serpent. Copy | Teotihuacan | Mesoamerican
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