Wagner Murals

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The Wagner Murals are the name for over 70 mural fragments illegally removed from the Pre-Columbian site of Teotihuacán in the 1960s.

Murals of Teotihuacan

The murals of Teotihuacán are very different from artistic representations found in neighboring centers. Few aspects of daily life are represented; the murals are predominantly abstract depictions of mythical deities that probably reflect a communal belief system. Teotihuacán is also unique in the fact that, even though it is contemporaneous with initial Mayan centers, there are relatively few hieroglyphic inscriptions. Esther Pasztory, of the Teotihuacán Murals Project, has postulated that they wanted to create an art style distinctly different the preceding Olmec culture and the contemporaneous Mayan centers. They were not interested in displaying a succession of kingship as commonly shown in other cultures of the area.

Early murals at the site are generally found located in small temples along the Avenue of the Dead and depict animals such as quetzals and feline as well as various plant varieties. During the Xolalpan stage of Teotihuacán (~AD 400), however, murals could be found in a wider variety of structures including many porticoes of apartment compounds. Additionally, themes of mythical supernatural deities and the increase in hieroglyphic notations led Pasztory to conclude that this change may mark a sort of decentralization within the society.

Wagner Murals

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