October 2000 Meeting of the Pre-Columbian Society

Marilyn Goldstein, professor of Art History at Long Island
University, spoke on "The Significance of Shell Imagery at
Teotihaucan."

Teotihuacan is inundated with water images; shells predominate.
They are carved and painted on temple and palace walls and decorate
ceramic vessels.  Many seashells, items of shell jewelry, and conch
trumpets are found in elite tombs and temple caches.  Clearly, seashells
were powerful symbols of civic and ritual importance.  They were also
important economically: landlocked Teotihuacan probably controlled the
Middle American shell trade.  Her talk traced shell found at Teotihuacan
to its coastal sources, establishing trade routes and points of cultural
exchange. It also studied the contextual use of shell at Teotihuacan to
offer insight into religious beliefs and social rituals.

In addition to her duties at Long Island University, Dr. Goldstein
has curated many exhibitions of Precolumbian Art, most notably "Conchas
Precolombianas: Mesoamerican Art Created from Seashell" (1997) and
"Ceremonial Sculpture of Ancient Veracruz" (1988).  She holds a PhD. from
Columbia University in Art History and Archaeology; and has done
post-doctoral work at Yale University.  She has received research grants
from the Organization of American States and the National Science
Foundation, as ewell as a Fulbright Fellowship.  She has published
professional articles in Ethnos, Man, The Interamerican, and The
Palenque Round Table Series.

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