Blood and Beauty

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Blood and Beauty

Organized Violence in the Art and Archaeology of Mesoamerica and Central America

Editor: Heather Orr, Rex Koontz

Publication date: 2009
ISBN: 9781931745802

Warfare, ritual human sacrifice, and the rubber ballgame are the traditional practices through which scholars have most often examined organized violence in the artistic and material records of ancient Mesoamerica and Central America. This volume expands them to include such activities as gladiatorial-like boxing combats, investiture rites, trophy-head taking and display, dark shamanism, and the subjective pain inherent in acts of violence.

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Title information

Warfare, ritual human sacrifice, and the rubber ballgame are the traditional pratices through which scholars have most often examined organized violence in the artistic and material records of ancient Mesoamerica and Central America. This volume expands them to include such activities as gladiatorial-like boxing combats, investiture rites, trophy-head taking and display, dark shamanism, and the subjective pain inherent in acts of violence. Each author examines organized violence as a set of practices grounded in cultural understandings, even when the violence threatens the limits of those understandings. The authors scrutinize the representations of, and relationships between, different types of organized violence, as well as the implications of those activities. These can include the unexpected, such as violence as a means of determining and curing illness, and the use of violence in negotiation strategies.

Pages: 400
Language: English
Publisher: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press
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Heather Orr

Heather Orr is professor of art history at Western State College of Colorado.

Rex Koontz

Rex Koontz teaches art history at the University of Houston.

Ideas, Debates, and Perspectives offers a forum to address theoretical and practical issues of concern to contemporary archaeology.