Comparison analysis, museum essay sample

Between 1500 and 500 B. C, San Jose Mogote city in the modern day state of Oaxaca was the most important and largest settlement in the region. Oaxaca was inhabited by more tan sixteen subcultures during the pre-colonial period. Each of these subcultures had its customs, language and traditions. However, the Mixtecs and the Zapotecs were the majority and the most sophisticated. The Zapotecs were highly skilled in excavation and astronomy. The Mayan people lived in the tropical lowlands of the modern day Guatemala. The Mayan culture reached the peak of its power and influence around sixth century A. D. The culture was one of Mesoamerica’s most dominant of all the indigenous societies. The Maya people were centered in a single geographical block that covered the modern day Guatemala and the Yucatan Peninsula.
The Mayan ceramic sculpture depicts a deity. It shows that the religion was a very important aspect of the Mayan culture. They took time to create complex sculptures of their gods. The gods were highly revered because the Mayans were deeply religious. The sculpture is made of stone. To carve out a figure from such an enormous piece of stone shows, Mayan artists were highly skilled. The Mayans moved huge pieces of stone from the fields into their workshops for curving. In Mayan culture, the subject matter of a curving had to be in conformity with the local traditions of the people. The artists considered elements of style like gestures, depth of relief and the viewpoint of the figures. The faces were treated to make them recognizable as local art. The Mayan sculpture also shows that the artists had to observe the specific dressing regalia of the gods or rulers who were being depicted in the curving. Tradition deeply bound subject matter of the carvings. This was a rule that the Mayan artists never broke.
The Oaxaca sculpture has a lining with maize carvings. Presence of the carving shows that the Oaxaca people practiced agriculture. They were a farming community, and they had a god who took care of their agricultural prayers. Agriculture was an important aspect of their culture. It fed and sustained the people and therefore to ensure security of this important economic activity it was important to maintain loyalty to a god. Oaxaca was characterized by geographical fragmentations. It had extensive mountain ranges at an average altitude of 1, 500 meters. A small percentage of the land was arable and therefore it was very important to maintain closeness with a god who guaranteed fertility.
The Mayan culture was characterized by its advanced astronomical systems, mathematics, writing and religion. Predictions made by the ancient Mayans still linger in today’s history. In regard to religion, the Mayan people believed that time were of a cyclical nature. Their ceremonies and rituals were associated with terrestrial and celestial cycles that were inscribed as separate calendars. Their pictorial texts show that they practiced human sacrifice. In some of their rituals, a person’s hands and legs would be held as a priest tore through the person’s chest to remove the heart. It was offered as a sacrifice. There are several supernatural characters in the Mayan tradition. The characters occur with regularity. Good or evil were not permanent traits of the gods worshipped by the Mayan people. In regard to architecture, the most recognizable architectural pieces are the Mayan pyramids and the caves. Site planning o Mayan cities was not organized. It was majorly dictated by area topography.
The Oaxacan civilization was majorly located in the valley of Oaxaca. Zapotec and Mixtec settlements had been present in Oaxaca valley for many years especially in the ancient centers of Mitla and Monte Alban. These two centers are close to the modern day Oaxaca city. The Zapotecs and the Mixtecs were constantly at war. Their wars were brought to an end by the Spanish conquest. In 1521, the first Spanish expedition arrived in the area. The expedition was headed by Captain Francisco Orozco. The Oaxaca practiced agriculture. San Jose Mogote is an old agricultural city in Oaxaca valley. It was also the city that pioneered the use of pottery. The Oaxacan civilization was so skilled in astronomy and excavation. They leveled the top of a mountain in 450 B. C. At the top, they created a ceremonial centre that is known as Monte Alban in the modern day world. Monte Alban is one of the most densely populated cities in Mesoamerica. It is approximated that the city was home to 18, 000 Zapotecan residents at its peak.
The Mayan and the Oaxaca culture share a lot of similarities. In both cultures, religion was crucial. There were deities who were worshipped to protect and guide the people in their lives. The two cultures had great architectural advancements. They built temples that displayed deep architectural knowledge.