Classic Veracruz culture
Classic Veracruz culture refers to a cultural area in the north and central areas of the present-day Mexican state of Veracruz, a culture that existed from 100 to 1000 CE, or during the Classic era. El Tajin was the major center of Classic Veracruz culture; the culture spanned the Gulf Coast between the Pánuco River on the north and the Papaloapan River on the south. The Classic Veracruz culture is sometimes associated with the Totonacs, who were occupying this territory at the time of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. However, there is little or no evidence that the Totonacs were the originators of the Classic era culture. Burials, monumental sculpture, relief carvings, the distribution of architecture within the regional centers all point to a stratification of Classic Veracruz society, including the presence of an elite rank as well as craft specialization. Elite hereditary rulers held sway over these small- to medium-sized regional centers, none over 2000 km², maintaining their rule through political and religious control of far-flung trade networks and legitimizing it through typical Mesoamerican rites such as bloodletting, human sacrifice and use of exotic goods.
Much or most of the population, lived in isolated homesteads, hamlets, or villages. Like the Epi-Olmec and Olmec cultures before it, Classic Veracruz culture was based on swidden, or slash-and-burn, with maize an important component of the diet, supplemented with domestic dog, wild deer and other mammals, fish and shellfish. Cotton was an important crop. Little is known concerning Classic Veracruz religion and inferences have to be made from better-known Mesoamerican religions such as those of the Aztec and Maya. Only some of the many deity figures known from these religions have been recognized with any certainty. Large ceramic figures show a stooped old man representing the Mesoamerican fire god. Large ceramic statues show female earth goddesses with snake girdles connected to the site of El Zapotal. Based on their closed eyes and wide open mouths, on the nearby shrine of a death god and on the surrounding burials, the latter have been identified as deified women who died in child birth, more or less corresponding to the much Aztec cihuateteo known from the Codex Borgia.
Otherwise similar ceramic statues of earth goddesses, standing or seated, do not have dead faces and should therefore not be compared to the Aztec cihuateteo. The ball court reliefs of El Tajin prominently depict a death god, a rain god and what may be a sun god and are important for their narrative quality related to the origin of pulque. Hachas show the head of an aged god connected to earth and water. An earth monster was inherited from the Olmecs. Many ceremonially clad ceramic figurines have been found that testify to the importance of public ritual, while the ceramic figurines of children with smiling and laughing faces seem to represent ritual performers. However, hardly anything is known about the interrelations of the deities mentioned above, their role in the religious feasts, the possible connection of these feasts to the calendar; the Classic Veracruz culture was obsessed with the ballgame. Every cultural center had at least one ballcourt, while up to 18 ballcourts have been found at El Tajin.
It was during Late Classic here in north-central Veracruz. The ballgame rituals appear throughout Classic Veracruz monumental art; the walls of largest ballcourt, the East Ballcourt at El Tajin are lined with carved murals showing human sacrifice in the context of the ballgame. The culmination of these murals is a tableau showing the rain god, who pierces his penis to replenish a vat of the alcoholic, ritual drink pulque, the apparent desired end result of the ballgame ritual sacrifice. A defining characteristic of the Classic Veracruz culture is the presence of stone ballgame gear: yokes and palmas. Yokes are U-shaped stones worn about the waist of a ballplayer, while the hachas and palmas sit upon the yoke. Archaeologists suppose that the stone yokes are ritual versions of leather, and/or wood yokes, although no such perishable artifacts have yet been unearthed. While the yokes and hachas have been found from Teotihuacan to Guatemala, the palmas seem peculiar to what is today northern Veracruz.
The art of Classic Veracruz is rendered with extensive and convoluted banded scrolls that can be seen both on monumental architecture and on portable art, including ceramics and carved bones. At least one researcher has suggested that the heads and other features formed by the scrolls are a Classic Veracruz form of pictographic writing; this scrollwork may have grown out of similar styles found in Kaminaljuyu. In addition to the scrollwork, the architecture is known for its remarkable ornamentation, such as that seen on the Pyramid of Niches at El Tajin; this ornamentation produces dramatic contrasts of light and shadow, what art historian George Kubler called a "bold chiaroscuro". While Classic Veracruz culture shows influences from Teotihuacan and the Maya, neither of these cultures are its direct antecedents. Instead, the seeds of this culture seems to have come at least in part from the Epi-Olmec culture centers, such as Cerro de las Mesas and La Mojarra; until the early 1950s, the Classic Veracruz ceramics were few, little understoo
Motif (visual arts)
In art and iconography, a motif is an element of an image. A motif may be repeated in a pattern or design many times, or may just occur once in a work. A motif may be an element in the iconography of a particular subject or type of subject, seen in other works, or may form the main subject, as the Master of Animals motif in ancient art does; the related motif of confronted animals is seen alone, but may be repeated, for example in Byzantine silk and other ancient textiles. Where the main subject of an artistic work such as a painting is a specific person, group, or moment in a narrative, that should be referred to as the "subject" of the work, not a motif, though the same thing may be a "motif" when part of another subject, or part of a work of decorative art such as a painting on a vase. Ornamental or decorative art can be analysed into a number of different elements, which can be called motifs; these may as in textile art, be repeated many times in a pattern. Important examples in Western art include acanthus and dart, various types of scrollwork.
Many designs in Islamic culture are motifs, including those of the sun, animals such as horses and lions and landscapes. Motifs can be used for propaganda. In kilim flatwoven carpets, motifs such as the hands-on-hips elibelinde are woven in to the design to express the hopes and concerns of the weavers: the elibelinde symbolises the female principle and fertility, including the desire for children. Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs are a familiar type of motif in the eastern portions of the United States, their circular and symmetric design, their use of brightly colored patterns from nature, such as stars, compass roses, hearts, tulips and feathers have made them quite popular. In some parts of Pennsylvania Dutch country, it is common to see these designs decorating barns and covered bridges; the idea of a motif has become used more broadly in discussing literature and other narrative arts for an element in the story that represents a theme. Geometric repeated: Meander, rosette, gul in Oriental rugs, acanthus and dart, Bead and reel, Sauwastika, Adinkra symbols.
Figurative: Master of Animals, confronted animals, velificatio and the Maiden, Three hares, Sheela na gig. Iconography Three hares Richard. Decorative Flower and Leaf Designs. Dover Publications, ISBN 0-486-26869-1 Jones, Owen.'The Grammar of Ornament. Dover Publications, Revised edition, ISBN 0-486-25463-1 Welch, Patricia Bjaaland. Chinese art: a guide to motifs and visual imagery. Turtle Publishing, ISBN 0-8048-3864-X Visual motifs Theater of Drawing
National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art, its attached Sculpture Garden, is a national art museum in Washington, D. C. located on the National Mall, between 3rd and 9th Streets, at Constitution Avenue NW. Open to the public and free of charge, the museum was established in 1937 for the American people by a joint resolution of the United States Congress. Andrew W. Mellon donated funds for construction; the core collection includes major works of art donated by Paul Mellon, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, Lessing J. Rosenwald, Samuel Henry Kress, Rush Harrison Kress, Peter Arrell Browne Widener, Joseph E. Widener, Chester Dale; the Gallery's collection of paintings, prints, sculpture and decorative arts traces the development of Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present, including the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas and the largest mobile created by Alexander Calder. The Gallery's campus includes the original neoclassical West Building designed by John Russell Pope, linked underground to the modern East Building, designed by I. M. Pei, the 6.1-acre Sculpture Garden.
The Gallery presents temporary special exhibitions spanning the world and the history of art. It is one of the largest museums in North America. Pittsburgh banker Andrew W. Mellon began gathering a private collection of old master paintings and sculptures during World War I. During the late 1920s, Mellon decided to direct his collecting efforts towards the establishment of a new national gallery for the United States. In 1930 for tax reasons, Mellon formed the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, to be the legal owner of works intended for the gallery. In 1930–1931, the Trust made its first major acquisition, 21 paintings from the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg as part of the Soviet sale of Hermitage paintings, including such masterpieces as Raphael's Alba Madonna, Titian's Venus with a Mirror, Jan van Eyck's Annunciation. In 1929 Mellon had initiated contact with the appointed Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Charles Greeley Abbot. Mellon was appointed in 1931 as a Commissioner of the Institution's National Gallery of Art.
When the director of the Gallery retired, Mellon asked Abbot not to appoint a successor, as he proposed to endow a new building with funds for expansion of the collections. However, Mellon's trial for tax evasion, centering on the Trust and the Hermitage paintings, caused the plan to be modified. In 1935, Mellon announced in The Washington Star, his intention to establish a new gallery for old masters, separate from the Smithsonian; when asked by Abbot, he explained that the project was in the hands of the Trust and that its decisions were dependent on "the attitude of the Government towards the gift". In January 1937, Mellon formally offered to create the new Gallery. On his birthday, 24 March 1937, an Act of Congress accepted the collection and building funds, approved the construction of a museum on the National Mall; the new gallery was to be self-governing, not controlled by the Smithsonian, but took the old name "National Gallery of Art" while the Smithsonian's gallery would be renamed the "National Collection of Fine Arts".
Designed by architect John Russell Pope, the new structure was completed and accepted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on behalf of the American people on March 17, 1941. Neither Mellon nor Pope lived to see the museum completed. At the time of its inception it was the largest marble structure in the world; the museum stands on the former site of the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad station, where in 1881 a disgruntled office seeker, Charles Guiteau, shot President James Garfield. As anticipated by Mellon, the creation of the National Gallery encouraged the donation of other substantial art collections by a number of private donors. Founding benefactors included such individuals as Paul Mellon, Samuel H. Kress, Rush H. Kress, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, Chester Dale, Joseph Widener, Lessing J. Rosenwald and Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch; the Gallery's East Building was constructed in the 1970s on much of the remaining land left over from the original congressional action. Andrew Mellon's children, Paul Mellon and Ailsa Mellon Bruce, funded the building.
Designed by architect I. M. Pei, the contemporary structure was completed in 1978 and was opened on June 1 of that year by President Jimmy Carter; the new building was built to house the Museum's collection of modern paintings, drawings and prints, as well as study and research centers and offices. The design received a National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1981; the final addition to the complex is the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Completed and opened to the public on May 23, 1999, the location provides an outdoor setting for exhibiting a number of pieces from the Museum's contemporary sculpture collection; the National Gallery of Art is supported through a private-public partnership. The United States federal government provides funds, through annual appropriations, to support the museum's operations and maintenance. All artwork, as well as special programs, are provided through private funds; the museum is not part of the Smithsonian Institution. Noted directors of the National Gallery have included David E. Finley, Jr. John Walker, J. Carter Brown.
Earl A. "Rusty" Powell III was named director in 1993. In March 2019 he was be succeeded by Kaywin Feldman, past director and president of the Minneapolis In
Mogollon culture is an archaeological culture of Native American peoples from Southern New Mexico and Arizona, Northern Sonora and Chihuahua, Western Texas, a region known as Oasisamerica. The Mogollon culture is one of the major prehistoric Southwestern cultural divisions of the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico; the culture flourished from the archaic period, c. 200 CE, to either 1450 or 1540 CE, when the Spanish arrived. The name Mogollon comes from the Mogollon Mountains, which were named after Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón, Spanish Governor of New Spain from 1712 to 1715; the name was defined in 1936 by archaeologist Emil W. Haury; the distinct facets of Mogollon culture were recorded by Emil Haury, based on his excavations in 1931, 1933, 1934 at the Harris Village in Mimbres, New Mexico, the Mogollon Village on the upper San Francisco River in New Mexico Haury recognized differences between architecture and artifacts from these sites as compared with sites in the Hohokam archaeological culture area and the Ancestral Pueblo archaeological culture area.
Key differences included brown-paste, coil-and-scrape pottery excavated semi-subterranean pit-houses and different ceremonial architecture. Eight decades of subsequent research have confirmed Haury's initial findings. Today, the distinctiveness of the Mogollon pottery manufacture, architectural construction, ground-stone tool design and customs of residence location, mortuary treatment is recognized; the earliest Mogollon pithouses were deep and either oval-shaped. Over time, Mogollon people not as deep, their villages had kivas, or round, semi-subterranean ceremonial structures. Mogollon origins remain a matter of speculation. One model holds that the Mogollon emerged from a preceding Desert Archaic tradition that links Mogollon ancestry with the first prehistoric human occupations of the area. In this model, cultural distinctions emerged in the larger region when populations grew great enough to establish villages and larger communities. An alternative possibility holds that the Mogollon were descendants of early farmers who migrated from farming regions in central Mexico around 3500 BCE, who displaced descendants of the antecedent Desert Archaic peoples.
A third view is that at the time of the shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture the Cochise culture had been immigrants into the area about 5000 BCE, were not linked to the earlier inhabitants, but were receptive to cultural dissemination from the farmers of Central Mexico. The Mogollon were foragers who augmented their subsistence efforts by farming. Through the first millennium CE, dependence on farming increased. Water control features are common among Mimbres branch sites from the 10th through 12th centuries CE; the nature and density of Mogollon residential villages changed through time. The earliest Mogollon villages are small hamlets composed of several pithouses. Village sizes increased by the 11th century surface pueblos became common. Cliff-dwellings became common during 14th centuries. Research on Mogollon culture has led to the recognition of regional variants, of which the most recognized in popular media is the Mimbres culture. Others include the Jornada, Reserve, Point of Pines, San Simon, Upper Gila branches.
Although the Mimbres culture is the most well-known subset of the Mogollon archaeological culture-area, the entire Mogollon occupation spans a greater interval of time and a vastly larger area than is encompassed by the Mimbres culture. Mogollon culture is divided into five periods proposed by Joe Ben Wheat in 1955: Mogollon 1: Pine Lawn, Penasco, Circle Prairie, Hilltop phases Mogollon 2: San Lorenzo, Dos Cabezas, Circle Prairie, Cottonwood phases Mogollon 3: San Francisco, Galiuro and San Marcial phases Mogollon 4: Three Circle, Corduroy and Capitan phases Mogollon 5, including the Classic Mimbres phrase: Mangus, Encinas, Tularosa, Dona Anna, Three Rivers, El Paso, San Anders phases. An alternate way of viewing Mogollon culture is through three periods of housing types: Early Pithouse Late Pithouse Mogollon Pueblo. Archaeological sites attributed to the Mogollon culture are found in the Gila Wilderness, Mimbres River Valley, along the Upper Gila river and Hueco Tanks, an area of low mountains between the Franklin Mountains to the west and the Hueco Mountains to the east.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in southwestern New Mexico was established as a National Monument on 16 November 1907. It contains several archaeological sites attributed to the Mimbres branch. At the headwaters of the Gila, Mimbres populations adjoined another more northern branch of the Mogollon culture; the TJ Ruin, for example, is a Classic Mimbres phase pueblo, however the cliff dwellings are Tularosa phase. The Hueco Tanks State Historic Site is 32 mi northeast of El Paso, Texas. Mimbres may, depending on its context, refer to a tradition within a subregion of the Mogollon culture area or to an interva
The Papaloapan River is one of the main rivers of the Mexican state of Veracruz. Its name comes from the Nahuatl papaloapan meaning "river of the butterflies". Juan de Grijalva's 1517 expedition discovered the river; the Papaloapan rises in the Sierra Madre Oriental on the border between the states of Veracruz and Oaxaca. It is formed where the Santo Domingo River and the Valle Nacional River join to the southwest of San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec in Oaxaca; the Tonto River is another major tributary. The Papaloapan meanders for 122 km in a northeasterly direction through the coastal plain before draining into Alvarado lagoon; the river basin covers 46,517 km2, the second largest in Mexico, contains 244 municipalities with a population of about 3.3 million people. The cities of San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec and Tlacotalpan are situated on the banks of the Papaloapan. In the past the Papaloapan river basin was subject to frequent flooding, with the damage sometimes compounded by cyclones. A severe flood in September 1944 covered 470,000 hectares, with great loss of life and property.
The Miguel Alemán Dam on the Tonto river reduced the problem, but further floods occurred after it had been completed in 1955. A flood in 1958 covered one in 1969 covered 340,000 ha. Meanwhile, the drainage capacity of the Papaloapan river was being reduced by silt carried by the Santo Domingo river. Construction of the Cerro de Oro Dam in 1989 on the Santo Domingo river reduced the extent of floods to a manageable level; the states of Oaxaca and Veracruz are cooperating in developing the river basin. Plans include irrigation to improve agricultural production, promotion of forestry and fish farming and improvements to roads and river navigation; the planned projects will be designed to avoid ecological damage. Environmental damage has been the subject of considerable study. List of longest rivers of Mexico
La Mojarra Stela 1
La Mojarra Stela 1 is a Mesoamerican carved monument dating from 156 CE. It was discovered in 1986, pulled from the Acula River near La Mojarra, Mexico, not far from the Tres Zapotes archaeological site; the 4 1⁄2-foot-wide by 6 1⁄2-foot-high, four-ton limestone slab contains about 535 glyphs of the Isthmian script. One of Mesoamerica's earliest known written records, this Epi-Olmec culture monument not only recorded this ruler's achievements, but placed them within a cosmological framework of calendars and astronomical events; the right side of the stone features a full-length portrait of a man in an elaborate headdress and costume, although the bottom half of the carving is badly weathered. Above the figure, 12 short columns of glyphs have been etched into the stone, matched by eight longer columns to the figure's right. Among these glyphs are two Mesoamerican Long Count calendar dates which correspond to May 143 CE and July 156 CE; the monument is an early example of the type of stela which became common commemorating rulers of Maya sites in the Classic era.
The figure engraved onto Stela 1 is complex and not interpreted. Pool describes the figure as follows: Prof. Philip Arnold has tentatively identified the stylized sharks as the Olmec Fish/Shark Monster, a symbol of rulership. According to Mary Ellen Miller, the figure wears the headdress of the Principal Bird Deity. Bird deities were featured on stelae of this period, can be seen on Izapa Stela 4 as well on monuments at Kaminaljuyu, Takalik Abaj, Zaculeu; the Tuxtla Statuette, a small 6-inch-high greenstone sculpture portrays a human dressed as a bird. It comes from the same culture and period as Stela 1, both feature Isthmian script glyphs; these two artifacts were found 70 km apart and their Long Count dates are separated by only 6 years. They may refer to the same person. For some years after discovery, the monument was in storage in the Museo de Antropología in Xalapa. In November 1995, as the monument was being prepared for display, a neglected series of glyphs was noticed on one side in eroded but still recognizable condition.
In 1993, again in 1997, after discovery of the new column of glyphs, John Justeson and Terrence Kaufman put forward a proposed decipherment of the glyphs. This decipherment names the figure depicted as "Harvester Mountain Lord", describes his ascension to kingship, a solar eclipse, appearances of Venus, an attempted usurpation, human sacrifice and Harvester Mountain Lord's own bloodletting; this decipherment has been disputed among others. Resolution of this debate will need to await further archaeological discoveries. Detail showing one of the two Long Count dates. Arnold, III, Philip J. "The Shark-Monster in Olmec Iconography", in Mesoamerican Voices, 2005, v. 2. Diehl, Richard "Mojarra, La", in Evans, Susan, ed. Archaeology of Ancient Mexico and Central America, Taylor & Francis, London. Guernsey, Julia Ritual and Power in Stone: The Performance of Rulership in Mesoamerican Izapan Style Art, University of Texas Press, Texas, ISBN 978-0-292-71323-9. Justeson, John S.. "A Newly Discovered Column in the Hieroglyphic Text on La Mojarra Stela 1: a Test of the Epi-Olmec Decipherment".
Science. 277: 207. Doi:10.1126/science.277.5323.207. Retrieved 2006-10-25. Justeson, John S. and Terrence Kaufman Epi-Olmec Hieroglyphic Texts. Kaufman, Terrence "Early Mesoamerican Writing Systems" on University of Pittsburgh Department of Anthropology website. Koontz, Rex. Miller, Mary Ellen; the Art of Mesoamerica. London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-20345-8. Pool, Christopher Olmec Archaeology and Early Mesoamerica, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-78882-3. Schuster, Angela M. H. "Epi-Olmec Decipherment" in Archaeology, online
El Tajín is a pre-Columbian archeological site in southern Mexico and is one of the largest and most important cities of the Classic era of Mesoamerica. A part of the Classic Veracruz culture, El Tajín flourished from 600 to 1200 CE and during this time numerous temples, palaces and pyramids were built. From the time the city fell, in 1230, to 1785, no European seems to have known of its existence, until a government inspector chanced upon the Pyramid of the Niches. El Tajín was named a World Heritage site in 1992, due to its cultural importance and its architecture; this architecture includes the use of decorative niches and cement in forms unknown in the rest of Mesoamerica. Its best-known monument is the Pyramid of the Niches, but other important monuments include the Arroyo Group, the North and South Ballcourts and the palaces of Tajín Chico. In total there have been 20 ballcourts discovered at this site. Since the 1970s, El Tajin has been the most important archeological site in Veracruz for tourists, attracting 386,406 visitors in 2017.
It is the site of the annual Cumbre Tajin Festival, which occurs each March featuring indigenous and foreign cultural events as well as concerts by popular musicians. The site is located in Mexico in the highlands of the municipality of Papantla in modern-day Veracruz, not far from the city of Poza Rica, which lies northwest of the port and city of Veracruz; the city is set in the low rolling mountains that lead from the Sierra Madre Oriental to the Gulf coast near the Tecolutla River. In ancient times, this city was located in the northeast corner of what is called Mesoamerica, controlled an area from between the Cazones and Tecolutla Rivers to the modern state of Puebla; the main city is defined by two streams which merge to form the Tlahuanapa Arroyo, a tributary of the Tecolutla River. These two streams provided the population's potable water. Most of the buildings are at the southern end, where the land is flat and the two streams converge; the site extends to the northwest where terraces where constructed to place more buildings for the city's elite.
However the city had communities located on the hills east and west of the main city, with lower-class dwellings. Total site extends for 1,056 hectares; the area is rainforest, with a hot wet climate of the Senegal type. Average temperature for the year is 35 °C with hurricanes possible from June to October, it is affected by a weather phenomenon called “nortes.” These are cold fronts with winds that come from the north and down the Tamaulipas and Veracruz coasts. The site has no major settlements located next to it. Surrounding it are tobacco fields, banana plantations and vanilla groves; the closest settlement of any real size is Papantla. When it was rediscovered by officialdom in 1785, the site was known to the local Totonac, whose ancestors may have built the city, as El Tajín, said to mean “of thunder or lightning bolt”. Related to this is their belief that twelve old thunderstorm deities, known as Tajín, still inhabit the ruins. However, a series of indigenous maps dating from the time of the Spanish conquest, found in nearby Tihuatlan and now known as the Lienzos de Tuxpan, suggest that the city might have been called “Mictlan” or “place of the dead”, a common denomination for ancient sites whose original names have been lost.
This name appears in the Matricula de Tributos, a surviving Aztec tribute record, which formed part of the Codex Mendoza. This may therefore be linked to another Totonac meaning claimed for El Tajín: “place of the invisible beings or spirits”. Chronology studies at Tajín and nearby sites show that the area has been occupied at least since 5600 BCE and show how nomadic hunters and gatherers became sedentary farmers, building more complex societies prior to the rise of the city of El Tajin; the pace of this societal progression became more rapid with the rise of the neighboring Olmec civilization around 1150 BCE, although the Olmecs were never here in great numbers. It is unclear; some argue in favor of the Xapaneca. The rapid rise of Tajin was due to its strategic position along the old Mesoamerican trade routes, it controlled the flow of commodities, both exports such as vanilla and imports from other locations in what is now Mexico and Central America. From the early centuries, objects from Teotihuacan are abundant.
From 600 to 1200 CE, El Tajín was a prosperous city that controlled much of what is now modern Veracruz state. The city-state was centralized, with the city itself having more than fifty ethnicities living there. Most of the population lived in the hills surrounding the main city, the city obtained most of its foodstuffs from the Tecolutla and Cazones areas; these fields not only produced luxury items such as cacao. One of the panels at the Pyramid of the Niches shows a ceremony being held at a cacao tree; the religion was based on the movements of the planets, the stars and the Sun and Moon, with the Mesoamerican ballgame and pulque having important parts. This led to the building of many pyramids with temples and seventeen ballcourts, more than any other Mesoamerican site; the city began to have extensive influence starting around this time, which can be best seen at the neighboring site of Yohualichan, whose buildings show the kinds of niches that define El Tajin. Evidence of the city's influence can be seen along the Veracruz Gulf coast to the