Event: Pizza Talk: "Interlaced Scrolls and Feathered Banners: Markers of Culture in Teotihuacan (or, Whose Marcador is it, Anyway?)"

Date & Time

October 18, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Contact Information

Matthew Swanson


Fowler A222

Event Type

Pizza Talk

Event Details

Speaker: Dr. Matthew Robb, Chief Curator, Fowler Museum, UCLA

In 1963, the chance discovery at the Teotihuacan compound known today as La Ventilla of a four-part composite sculpture marked with interlaced-scrolls more typically associated with sites like El Tajín firmly established connections between ancient Teotihuacan and its contemporaries on the Gulf Coast. The discovery of a smaller, intact object of similar form in 1987 in Tikal’s Mundo Perdido provided new evidence for Teotihuacan’s involvement with Tikal and the Maya. Other studies focused on similar objects appearing in the visual culture of Classic period Veracruz have identified them as stone versions of feathered banners, and drawn connections with the appearance at Teotihuacan of interlaced-scrolls on murals at other buildings at La Ventilla and early structures at the Edificios Superpuestos. This lecture will document the chronological and cultural discrepancies between framing an object as a marker of Teotihuacan influence at 4th century Tikal, but as a marker of 6th century Gulf Coast connections at Teotihuacan. It will explore the archaeological, aesthetic, and social contexts of these objects and suggest new avenues for their interpretation based on recent discoveries at the site.