Has anyone found any effigy mounds in Mesoamerica?
I currently know of two - one (a snake) at Casas Grandes (Paquime) in Chichihuah and the other in the Municipio de Tacuichamona, in Sinaloa, (Weigand, personal communication 2010). However, I am hereby canvassing the archaeological community to learn of any others. Any and all information will be duly acknowledged in publication. Many thanks!!
By 1500 BC the Olmec lived in farming villages such as San Lorenzo, on a branch of the Coatzalcoalcos River iin southern Mexico. This later developed into Central America's earliest known religious and political center. With great effort and social organization they constructed a plateau on which to build San Lorenzo. According to Maya historian and archaeologist M. D. Coe, this was some kind of effigy mound, looking like a gigantic bird flying eastward toward Africa (The Maya by Gerald Benedict; Watkins, 2010).
Jim, Richard E. W. Adams (Prehistoric Mesoamerica 1977; 3rd printing 2005:103) avers that the great aqueduct of the Mesoamerican complex of Kaminaljuyu (which was largely subsumed beneath the mid-20th-century expansion of Guatemala City), and was known in early Hispanic chronicles as "La Culebra" (The Snake" likely began its existence as a vast effigy mound. I am attaching (in a separate message to you) a few pages clipped from Adams' book where he talks about this, as well as a brief article by Michael Coe where he goes into detail about exactly where he got the idea that the plateau at San Lorenzo was altered into the effigy of a bird (to match-up with Ford's concept for the bird-effigy concept of the nearly coeval Poverty Point Site)! Well, that's all the mention of effigies I've run across casually perusing the Mesoamerican literature, so far. Good luck hunting!
I'm only a casual consumer of Peruvian archeology, but I'd like to suggest that this should also be a place to look. The development of high cultures in western South America long antedates Mesoamerican developments, and many of the same iconographic features occur there as are found in Mesoamerica and North America, but there has been little attention to this, accounts of Mesoamerican origins remaining insularly authochthonous, and North American studies rarely looking beyond Mesoamerica as a hearth.
Many thanks for your input and suggestion!! I had not thought to search further south for information on effigy mounds!! If you have not already seen it, please take a look at my unpublished ongoing research on a "probable" effigy mound in the form of a scorpion that I have discovered in the Tehuacan Valley of Puebla. That was why I was restricting my initial search to Mesoamerica.
The idea of SAn Lorenzo as a bird effigy has not been supported by later research by Ann Cyphers (I have to check the bibliography). About the Guatemala Montículo de la Culebra, I agree with B. Skiles. See
Navarrete, Carlos. Luis Lujan. 1986, El Gran Montículo de la Culebra en el Valle de Guatemala. Instituto de investigacionesAntropológicas. Editorial Olmeca Impresiones Finas, s. a de C. V. México.
The reference of Cyphers, throwing doubt on the bird effigy mound at SAn Lorenzo, is:
CYPHERS, A.; MURTHA, T.; BORSTEIN, J.; ZURITA-NOGUERA, J.; LUNAGÓMEZ, R.; SYMONDS, S.; JIMÉNEZ, G.; ORTIZ, M.A.; FIGUEROA, J.M. (2010) - Arqueología digital en la primera capital olmeca, San Lorenzo. Thule. Rivista italiana di studi americanistici 22/23-24/25 (aprile/ottobre 2007-2008), p. 121-144.
I was interested to see the reference to Carlos Navarrete -- he was a fellow student with me in the old ENAH on Moneda 13 (where the Museo de Culturas is now). Do you happen to know what has happened to him?
RESUMEN. Gracias a la afinidad entre conflictividad y entropía, la célebre ecuación de Ludwig Boltzmann se puede adaptar al contexto funerario de la arqueología de los fenómenos sociales para medir el impacto de ese parámetro social y el riesgo de colapso en el seno de una civilización antigua. Nuevamente, se recurre al ejemplo de la Mesoamérica pr...