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The Painted Tombs of Oaxaca, Mexico: Living with the Dead

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The Painted Tombs of Oaxaca, Mexico examines ancestor veneration and the mural paintings produced over a 3000-year period by the Zapotec, one of pre-Columbian America's most visually rich cultures. Providing an art historical and technical analysis of Zapotec mural art in tombs and on temples, Arthur Miller then examines these powerful images from the vantage point of fami The Painted Tombs of Oaxaca, Mexico examines ancestor veneration and the mural paintings produced over a 3000-year period by the Zapotec, one of pre-Columbian America's most visually rich cultures. Providing an art historical and technical analysis of Zapotec mural art in tombs and on temples, Arthur Miller then examines these powerful images from the vantage point of family and lineage rituals related to the cult of the dead. Among his contributions are strikingly new observations on tomb reuse and the repainting of mural programs. More than a definitive record of a fading pre-Columbian visual tradition, this interdisciplinary study of funerary practice cogently demonstrates that the Zapotec tombs were, in effect, made to satisfy the needs of the living. Moreover, it documents the religious and social continuities, as well as changes, between ancient and contemporary Zapotec communities.


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The Painted Tombs of Oaxaca, Mexico examines ancestor veneration and the mural paintings produced over a 3000-year period by the Zapotec, one of pre-Columbian America's most visually rich cultures. Providing an art historical and technical analysis of Zapotec mural art in tombs and on temples, Arthur Miller then examines these powerful images from the vantage point of fami The Painted Tombs of Oaxaca, Mexico examines ancestor veneration and the mural paintings produced over a 3000-year period by the Zapotec, one of pre-Columbian America's most visually rich cultures. Providing an art historical and technical analysis of Zapotec mural art in tombs and on temples, Arthur Miller then examines these powerful images from the vantage point of family and lineage rituals related to the cult of the dead. Among his contributions are strikingly new observations on tomb reuse and the repainting of mural programs. More than a definitive record of a fading pre-Columbian visual tradition, this interdisciplinary study of funerary practice cogently demonstrates that the Zapotec tombs were, in effect, made to satisfy the needs of the living. Moreover, it documents the religious and social continuities, as well as changes, between ancient and contemporary Zapotec communities.

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