Smithsonian Olmec Legacy

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La Venta Monument 47

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Record Count: (26 - 50 out of 624)

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Tres Zapotes, Veracruz

Decorated vertical flange of Lirios-type incensario lid, Tres Zapotes.

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Tres Zapotes, Veracruz

Dog figurine uncovered at the Ranchita site at Tres Zapotes.

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Tres Zapotes, Veracruz

Lirios-type modeled figurine, representing the face of an old man with earplugs and headdress from Trench 20. When found it was attached to a vessel rim.

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Tres Zapotes, Veracruz

Lirios-type figurine, representing the head of a man with headdress and earplugs. It was found at the Ranchita site at Tres Zapotes and used to be attached to the rim of a large urn.

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Tres Zapotes, Veracruz

A stone platform was excavated just east of the Tres Zapotes Long Mound. Four steps, constructed of flat slabs of sandstone, led to the platform.

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Tres Zapotes, Veracruz

Tres Zapotes Monument C. This stone box is carved from one piece of basalt, covered with elaborate, carved decorations in low relief.

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Tres Zapotes, Veracruz

Tres Zapotes Stela C. Part of the bar and dot numerals on this stela were missing. Yet, Matthew and Marion Stirling read the date as 31 BC - an interpretation fiercely debated among Mesoamerican scholars at the time.

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Tres Zapotes, Veracruz

Tres Zapotes Stela C. The numerals on Stela C are arranged in a vertical column with the bars and dots placed horizontally. When the stela was first excavated the grooves outlining the bars and dots were accentuated with a yellowish substance; several weeks after the excavation this encrustation had mostly faded.

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Tres Zapotes, Veracruz

Polychrome bowls and sherds from Tres Zapotes trenches 22-24.

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Tres Zapotes, Veracruz

Tres Zapotes Monument C. Matthew Stirling, seated on the edge of the carved box, described it as probably having been used for sacrificial purposes.

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Cerro de las Mesas, Veracruz

Cerro de las Mesas Stela 6 The carving on this stela represents an elaborately costumed individual. To the left of the figure is a vertical column with glyphs and bar and dot numerals, indicating a date equivalent to 206 AD.

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La Venta, Tabasco

Northwest corner of the stone enclosure, partially excavated. This rectangular area, located just north of the big mound of La Venta, is fenced in by stone pickets of columnar basalt. During the two field seasons at La Venta (1942 and 1943) Matthew Stirling and his crew did not have the time to entirely excavate the enclosure or the basalt columns. During later excavations by Drucker, Heizer and Squier, in particular in 1955, this feature was further excavated.

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La Venta, Tabasco

La Venta Stela 2. This stela is 11 feet 5 inches high, 6 feet 9 inches wide and approximately 18 inches thick.

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La Venta, Tabasco

La Venta Altar 4. Following the first field season at La Venta in 1940, Stirling referred to this monument as Altar 1. By 1943 it had become known as La Venta Altar 4.

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La Venta, Tabasco

La Venta Altar 5. Stirling suggested that, like Altar 4, the niche in the front of this altar presents the open mouth of a jaguar.

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La Venta, Tabasco

La Venta Altar 5, south end. The figure on the front is holding a baby, as are each of the two figures on either side of the altar. This lef the expedition’s staff to refer to this monument as the “Quintuplet Altar.”

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La Venta, Tabasco

La Venta Stela 3. The excavation of this stela was particularly challenging because of its size and weight. Since the decorated side was face down, the stela had to be supported with mahogony logs to be able to view the low relief carvings on the front.

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La Venta, Tabasco

La Venta Altar 5, north end. While this altar has been badly battered, most of the decorations and reliefs are still in good condition. Stirling referred to this altar as “one of the finest examples of sculptural art from pre-Columbian America.” (Stirling 1943b: 56)

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La Venta, Tabasco

La Venta Altar 3, west side. “The altar is carved from an almost cubical block of basalt, which formerly had an overhanging top, all of the projecting sides of which have been broken off. It is 5 feet 6 inches long, 5 feet 3 inches wide, and 5 feet 3 inches high.” (Stirling 1943b: 54)

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La Venta, Tabasco

La Venta Monument 1. This colossal head was the first of four such heads excavated by Matthew Stirling during the 2nd archaeological expedition to La Venta.

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La Venta, Tabasco

La Venta Altar 1, north side. This altar, which is in the shape of a large, rectangular head, measures 9 feet 7 inches long, by 6 feet 10 inches wide and 6 feet 2 inches high.

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La Venta, Tabasco

La Venta Altar 4. From the front of this monument runs a rope around the base to the side, “where it is tied to the wrist of a seated figure carved in low relief on the south end of the altar.” (Stirling 1943b: 54)

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La Venta, Tabasco

La Venta Stela 3. This stela is 14 feet high, 6 feet 8 inches wide and approximately 36 inches thick. Especially the upper part is badly weathered. The lower part seemed to be better preserved by having been buried.

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La Venta, Tabasco

La Venta Stela 1. In order to take a photograph of the entire front or top of this monument, National Geographic photographer Dick Stewart erected a tripod of wooden poles.

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La Venta, Tabasco

La Venta Monument 5, also known as “La Abuela” (The Grandmother). This monument was discovered near La Venta Stela 1. It is 4 feet 8 inches high.


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