South american people dating from 1100 ad
The heads likely depict rulers and were frequently re-carved or even defaced after their death.
The act of ritually defacing the stone may have served as a means to physically “mark” the former ruler’s death.
The lectures on this website use ‘pre-Columbian’ exclusively for purposes of clarity.
Stacy Goodman’s discussion of a Moche Portrait Head also provides good background on ceramics of the north coast of Peru.
One thing that you will want to stress to your students is that 1300 CE is an artificial cutoff date that bears no correspondence to the actual timeline of cultural development in the pre-Columbian Americas.
Originally referred to as the “Mother Culture” of Mexico by the famed Mexican intellectual Miguel Covarrubias, scholars have since revised this theory in light of archaeological discoveries of contemporaneous cultures located in the Valley of Oaxaca.
Nevertheless, the Olmec produced tremendous architectural complexes and monumental sculptures that have captivated the attention of archaeologists and enthusiasts for the past century.
Anthony Aveni also provides a comprehensive overview of the Maya calendar and mathematics in his lecture “Mesoamerican Mathematics.” Mary Ellen Miller’s Art of Mesoamerica, 5th ed.