For Immediate Release
From the Cave of Origins to the City of Sacrifice ... and Beyond: A Mesoamerican Odyssey in a Recovered 16th-Century Mexican Codex
(Cambridge, September 15, 2009) Footprints drawn in a rare 16th-century illustrated manuscript trace the historic odyssey of a group of Chichimecs, an indigenous people from Mexico. The map reveals the Chichimecs’ origins at the “Place of the Seven Caves” in the American southwest and how they journeyed to their new home in Cuauhtinchan, Mexico.
The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology presents an illustrated lecture, From the Cave of Origins to the City of Sacrifice...and Beyond: A Mesoamerican Odyssey in a Recovered 16th-Century Mexican Codex, by Davíd Carrasco, Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America. Carrasco will portray two journeys: the Chichimecs’ odyssey from the sacred cave of origins to the pilgrimage city of sacrifice as depicted in the recently recovered Aztec-era pictorial, the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan #2;and the journey of 15 scholars who, under Carrasco's direction, carried out a revealing, multidisciplinary study of the Mapa resulting in the prize-winning book Cave, City and Eagle's Nest: An Interpretive Journey Through the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan #2. The brilliantly painted Mexican codex will be examined in terms of its mythology, rituals of sacrifice, sacred bundles (cloth mantles containing special objects), sacred places, and ethnobotanical content.
The free public lecture will take place in Geological Lecture Hall, Harvard University, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge at 5:30 PM, Wednesday, October 14, 2009, followed by a reception in the Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Ave.
About Davíd Carrasco
Davíd Carrasco is a historian specializing in Mesoamerican religious interpretation. For over 20 years, he has researched the excavations and archives associated with the sites of Teotihuacan and Mexico-Tenochtitlan. He is director of the Moses Mesoamerican Archive at Harvard's Peabody Museum and Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America at Harvard Divinity School and in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He is also editor-in-chief of the award-winning three-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures. His most recent book collaboration is Cave, City, and Eagle's Nest: An Interpretive Journey Through the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan No. 2 (2007; gold winner of the 2008 PubWest Book Design Award in the academic book/nontrade category). Carrasco has received the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor the Mexican government gives to a foreign national.
About the Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum is among the oldest archaeological and ethnographic museums in the world with one of the finest collections of human cultural history found anywhere. It is home to superb materials from Africa, ancient Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, Oceania, and South America in particular. In addition to its archaeological and ethnographic holdings, the Museum’s photographic archives, one of the largest of its kind, hold more than 500,000 historical photographs, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and chronicling anthropology, archaeology, and world culture.
Hours and location: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., seven days a week. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for children, 3–18. Free with Harvard ID or Museum membership. The Museum is free to Massachusetts residents Sundays, 9 A.M. to noon, year round, and Wednesdays from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. (September to May). Admission includes admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. For more information call 617-496-1027 or go online to: www.peabody.harvard.edu. The Peabody Museum is located at 11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Museum is a short walk from the Harvard Square MBTA station.