Gold, Turquoise, and Feathers

Gold, Turquoise, and Feathers: How the Merchant-Warriors of Chichen Itza Sported the New Bling
by Annabeth Headrick, PhD; Associate Professor of Art History, University of Denver
de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA
Saturday, October 28, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Koret Auditorium

The 2017 Elizabeth and Lewis K. Land Memorial Lecture

Positioned in the Yucatan Penunsula of Mexico, Chichen Itza inherited many of Teotihuacan’s traditions and arose after the collapse of many great Mayan cities. The keys to its success seem to have been its ability to embrace a multicultural perspective and foster international trade on a level never before seen in Mesoamerica. The result was a burgeoning middle elite who shared in the wealth and luxury of this economic powerhouse. Because of this, new evermore exotic materials appear in the art of the city. In this talk, we will see the art made with turquoise coming from New Mexico and gold from Central and South America. Further, we will see the portraits of the newly wealthy who paraded around in all their finery.

Annabeth Headrick is an Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Denver. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in the art of Mesoamerica. Her early work focused on the massive city of Teotihuacan, resulting in her book, The Teotihuacan Trinity: the Sociopolitical Structure of an Ancient Mesoamerican City. This research led to her current interests in Chichen Itza.