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What is a cosmogram?

Week Ten: Debates on Mesoamerican Cosmograms

Instructions: First, read each of the assigned texts in this order: Ashmore and Sabloff, Smith, and then Šprajc.

Then complete the written exercise below. Work should be typed, 12-point font, 1” margins, stapled, etc.

Part One – Focused Reading Summary: Each student is responsible for reading ALL of the texts this week. You are assigned ONE reading to present during the class discussion. My assigned reading is Ashmore and Sabloff please focus on the article while answering the questions below.

In preparation for the presentation of your assigned reading, please address the following:

  1. Write a summary of the central arguments and themes – One paragraph (6-8 sentences).
  2. What kinds of evidence is used by the author(s) to support their main arguments? Select at least two

different types of evidence. Write about why it is significant. (3-4 sentences)

  1. How does this article compare to or differ from the arguments presented by EACH of the other authors this week? In other words, how is this article in conversation with the other two texts – does it agree/disagree or act as a critique? (3-4 sentences). Be ready to discuss this in class.
  2. How is this perspective similar or different from the work of architectural historians? (3-4 sentences)

Part Two – Key Terms and Definitions: Using material from ALL assigned readings, please answer the following:

  1. What is a cosmogram? Define this term. (2-3 sentences)
  2. Include one quotation from the weekly readings and explain its significance in your own words.

Provide page numbers. (2-3 sentences)

  1. Select one example of a cosmogram. Describe it and explain its significance in your own words, use

citations. (3-4 sentences)

  1. According to the readings this week, what is the relationship between cosmograms and urban planning in

Mesoamerican cities? What kind of evidence supports this? (2-3 sentences)

  1. Define axis mundi. (2-3 sentences)
  2. Include one quotation and explain its significance in your own words. Provide page numbers. (2-3

sentences)

  1. Select one key image from one of the readings. Describe it and explain its significance in your own

words. (2-3 sentences)

  1. Comparison of urban plans and axes: In preparation for the section discussion, write a few sentences on

similarities and differences between the following pairs of sites: Teotihuacan vs. Tikal and Xunantunich

  1. Copán (provide citations)
 

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