City of Mesa, AZ

Mesoamerica

stone image

The Arizona Museum of Natural History presents the hall of Mesoamerican cultures because there are links between the high cultures of Mexico and Central America and the ancient Native American civilizations of the Southwest, particularly the Hohokam. Shown is a reproduction by noted Arizona artist Zarco Guerrero of an Olmec colossal head, such as are found at the sites of La Venta, San Lorenzo and Tres Zapotes. The colossal heads, carved from single boulders, stood between 1.6 and 2.4 meters high. Olmec culture in the Mexican Gulf Coast area dates from about 1400-400 B.C.

 

entrance to hall

The figures flanking the doorway are similar to those from Tula, Hidalgo, and the wall paintings are in Teotihuacan style. Both Teotihuacan (100 B.C.-A.D. 750) and Tula (A.D. 750-1000) were major ceremonial and political centers in central Mexico. The exhibition displays numerous figurines from Colima, Nayarit and Jalisco in West Mexico, many of which date to the period 100 B.C.-A.D. 300.

Mesoamerican traits found among the Hohokam include construction of temple mounds, such as Mesa Grande and Pueblo Grande, ball courts, religious symbolism, figurines, palettes, copper bells and inlaid shell. The great Mesoamerican food trilogy of maize, beans and squash arrived in the Southwest from Mexico: corn and squash in the period 1000-1500 B.C, and beans around 300-500 B.C.

 

 

 

53 N. Macdonald
Mesa, AZ 85201

(One block north of Main Street in downtown Mesa. Take US 60 or 202 to Country Club Drive, go to Main Street, and proceed one-half mile east to Macdonald) - View Map

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480-644-2230

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