Anthropologica - Anthropology in Action

Dr. F. Kent Reilly III
Department of Anthropology
Texas State University, San Marcos

Thursday, October 7, 2010
2:30 - 3:40 p.m.

Tennessee Room, James Union Building

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War and conquest was a constant theme in Classic and Post-Classic Mesoamerican art. Until recently, the theme of warfare was not recognized within the sculptural corpus of Olmec-style art. Evaluations of Olmec stylistic and symbolic data demonstrate that warfare representations created in the Middle Formative Period were couched in a supernatural framework based on feline and human interaction and transformation. This recognition lends support to the hypothesis that sees Mesoamerican warfare representations as an expression of paradigmatic ideology strongly grounded in the larger artistic corpus of the Mesoamerican Formative Period (1200-500 BC). Furthermore, this thematic recognition clearly supports a linkage between Olmec art and symbolism and that of later Mesoamerican Cultures. Dr. Reilly received his Ph.D. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin under Dr. Linda Schele. He is the Director, Center for the Study of Arts and Symbolism of Ancient America, and professor at Texas State University, San Marcos. He has published extensively on the Olmecs and Native Americans, including studies of iconography and symbolic systems of communications. In 1995 he was a guest curator and a catalog contributor to the Princeton University exhibition The Olmec World: Ritual and Rulership. His forthcoming book, Visions to Another Realm: Art, Shamanism and Political Power in the Olmec World, will give some of the latest information on the Olmecs.

Sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Middle Tennessee Anthropology Society. For More Information, contact: Professor Kevin E. Smith (615) 898-5958,