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Art History of central America

Chavin de Huantar was located in Peru and developed around 900 B.C. late in the Initial Period. At an elevation of 3,150 m., Chavin de Huantar was situated at the bottom of Cordillera Blancas eastern slopes, approximately halfway between tropical forests and coastal plains. At the intersection of major routes, Chavin de Huantar was in the position to control the routes, increase their exchange with others, and receive goods that were not natural to their area. Chavin de Huantar was an agricultural society, home to a fairly large population.The Old Temple was built during the late Initial Period and it was the center of supernatural power and authority. It was a U-shaped platform opening to the east with a circular courtyard in the center. The Old Temple also consisted of numerous passageways and chambers underground called galleries. These galleries were used for storage chambers, religious rites, and possibly temporary or permanent living for small groups working with temple activities. The Lanzon Gallery is located at the very center of the Old Temple. It was where the sculpture of the Lanzon was found. The Lanzon, the supreme deity of Chavin de Huantar, is anthropomorphic. With its feline head and human body, it has intertwined the feline deity of Chavin de Huantar and the shaman of the pre-Chavin period.For the pre-Chavin period, the object of worship was the feline, but this was gradually changed. By the time of Chavin de Huantar, it was anthropomorphic. During this time, it was believed that priests could become jaguars and interact with the supernatural forces. This was achieved by taking hallucinogenic drugs as part of rituals at the Old Temple. There are many sculptures that decorate the Old Temple depicting the transformation of the priests. There have been mortars, pestles, conch-shell trumpets, and many other items with anthropomorphic design found and thought to be associated with Chavin rituals.The New Temple forms a con...

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