Snake-Bird Gods Fascinated Both Aztecs and Pharaohs
2007 10 01
By Robin Emmott | reuters.com
Ancient Mexicans and Egyptians who never met and lived centuries and thousands of miles apart both worshiped feathered-serpent deities, built pyramids and developed a 365-day calendar, a new exhibition shows.
Billed as the world's largest temporary archeological showcase, Mexican archeologists have brought treasures from ancient Egypt to display alongside the great indigenous civilizations of Mexico for the first time.
The exhibition, which boasts a five-tonne, 3,000-year-old sculpture of Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II and stone carvings from Mexican pyramid Chichen Itza, aims to show many of the similarities of two complex worlds both conquered by Europeans in invasions 1,500 years apart.
"There are huge cultural parallels between ancient Egypt and Mexico in religion, astronomy, architecture and the arts. They deserve to be appreciated together," said exhibition organizer Gina Ulloa, who spent almost three years preparing the 35,520 square-feet (3,300 meter-square) display.
The exhibition, which opened at the weekend in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, shows how Mexican civilizations worshiped the feathered snake god Quetzalcoatl from about 1,200 BC to 1521, when the Spanish conquered the Aztecs.
From 3,000 BC onward Egyptians often portrayed their gods, including the goddess of the pharaohs Isis, in art and sculpture as serpents with wings or feathers.
"The feathered serpent and the serpent alongside a deity signifies the duality of human existence, at once in touch with water and earth, the serpent, and the heavens, the feathers of a bird," said Ulloa.
Egyptian sculptures at the exhibition -- flown to Mexico from ancient temples along the Nile and from museums in Cairo, Luxor and Alexandria -- show how Isis' son Horus was often represented with winged arms and accompanied by serpents.
Cleopatra, the last Egyptian queen before the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC, saw herself as Isis and wore a gold serpent in her headpiece, Ulloa added.
In the arts, Mexico's earliest civilization, the Olmecs, echo Egypt's finest sculptures. Olmec artists carved large man-jaguar warriors that are similar to the Egyptian sphinxes on display showing lions with the heads of gods or kings.
The seated statue of an Egyptian scribe carved between 2465 and 2323 BC shows stonework and attention to detail that parallels a seated stone sculpture of an Olmec lord.
There is no evidence the Olmecs and Egyptians ever met.
Shared traits run to architecture, with Egyptians building pyramids as royal tombs and the Mayans and Aztecs following suit with pyramids as places of sacrifice to the gods.
While there is no room for pyramids at the exhibition -- part of the Universal Forum of Cultures, an international cultural festival held in Barcelona in 2004 -- organizers say it is the first time many of pieces have left Egypt.
They include entire archways from Nile temples, a bracelet worn by Ramses II and sarcophagi used by the pharaohs.
Mexico has also brought together Aztec, Mayan and Olmec pieces from across the country.
"Any visitor to Egypt and Mexico might be disappointed by the gaps in the museums. The only thing Egypt declined to loan were the mummies," Ulloa said.
Article from: http://africa.reuters.com/wire/
Who Were The Earliest Americans?
The Mayan Lord of Creation and 2012
Red Ice Creations Radio - David Hatcher Childress - The Mystery of the Olmecs & Ancient Civilizations
Celestial Find at Ancient Andes Site
Ancient Solar Observatory Discovered in Peru
Red Ice Creations Radio - David Hatcher Childress - Technology of the Gods & Ancient Atomic Warfare (Subscription)
Mystery of El Fuerte
The Curse of the Cocaine Mummies
Latest News from our Front Page
Fukushima radiation killing children, government hiding the truth
2014 04 22
Katsutaka Idogawa, former mayor of Futaba, a town near the disabled Fukushima nuclear plant, is warning his country that radiation contamination is affecting Japan’s greatest treasure - its children.
Asked about government plans to relocate the people of Fatuba to the city of Iwaki, inside the Fukushima prefecture, Idogawa criticized the move as a "violation of human rights."
Compared with Chernobyl, radiation ...
Why your fingerprints may not be unique
2014 04 22
Assumption that everyone has a unique fingerprint from which they can be identified through a computer database is flawed, says Home Office expert Mike Silverman
Fingerprint evidence linking criminals to crime scenes has played a fundamental role in convictions in Britain since the first forensic laboratory was set up in Scotland Yard in 1901.
But the basic assumption that everyone has a ...
Asteroids cause dozens of nuclear-scale blasts in Earth’s atmosphere
2014 04 22
Asteroids caused 26 nuclear-scale explosions in the Earth’s atmosphere between 2000 and 2013, a new report reveals.
Some were more powerful – in one case, dozens of times stronger – than the atom bomb blast that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 with an energy yield equivalent to 16 kilotons of TNT.
Most occurred too high in the atmosphere to cause any serious damage ...
‘Editing DNA’ to eliminate genetic conditions now a reality
2014 04 22
Scientists have employed a revolutionary genome-editing computer technique that accurately identifies one faulty genetic “letter” among billions and effortlessly repairs a genetic condition in animals, paving way for human trials.
The success, by MIT in Boston, is the latest achievement in the field of genome editing that has been catapulted into the spotlight through a technology that can pinpoint genetic faults ...
EU should ’undermine national homogeneity’ says UN migration chief
2014 04 22
The EU should "do its best to undermine" the "homogeneity" of its member states, the UN’s special representative for migration has said.
Peter Sutherland told peers the future prosperity of many EU states depended on them becoming multicultural.
He also suggested the UK government’s immigration policy had no basis in international law.
He was being quizzed by the Lords EU home affairs sub-committee ...
|More News » |