Written Chinese comprises Chinese characters used to represent the Chinese language. Chinese characters do not constitute a compact syllabary. Rather, the writing system is logosyllabic; the characters themselves are composed of parts that may represent physical objects, abstract notions, or pronunciation. Literacy requires the memorization of a great many characters: educated Chinese know about 4,000; the large number of Chinese characters has in part led to the adoption of Western alphabets as an auxiliary means of representing Chinese. Various current Chinese characters have been traced back to the late Shang Dynasty about 1200–1050 BC, but the process of creating characters is thought to have begun some centuries earlier. After a period of variation and evolution, Chinese characters were standardized under the Qin Dynasty. Over the millennia, these characters have evolved into well-developed styles of Chinese calligraphy; as the varieties of Chinese diverged, a situation of diglossia developed, with speakers of mutually unintelligible varieties able to communicate through writing using Classical Chinese.
In the early 20th century, Classical Chinese was replaced in this role by written vernacular Chinese, corresponding to the standard spoken language. Although most other varieties of Chinese are not written, there are traditions of written Cantonese, written Shanghainese and written Hokkien, among others; some Chinese characters have been adopted into writing systems of other neighbouring East Asian languages, but are used only in Japanese and to a lesser extent in Korean, as Vietnamese is now written using alphabetic script. Written Chinese is not based on a compact syllabary. Instead, Chinese characters are glyphs whose components may depict objects or represent abstract notions. A character consists of only one component; the best known exposition of Chinese character composition is the Shuowen Jiezi, compiled by Xu Shen around 120 AD. Since Xu Shen did not have access to Chinese characters in their earliest forms, his analysis cannot always be taken as authoritative. Nonetheless, no work has supplanted the Shuowen Jiezi in terms of breadth, it is still relevant to etymological research today.
According to the Shuowen Jiezi, Chinese characters are developed on six basic principles. The first two principles produce simple characters, known as 文 wén: 象形 xiàngxíng: Pictographs, in which the character is a graphical depiction of the object it denotes. Examples: 人 rén "person", 日 rì "sun", 木 mù "tree/wood". 指事 zhǐshì: Indicatives, or ideographs, in which the character represents an abstract notion. Examples: 上 shàng "up", 下 xià "down", 三 sān "three"; the remaining four principles produce complex characters called 字 zì. Of these four, two construct characters from simpler parts: 會意/会意 huìyì: Logical aggregates, in which two or more parts are used for their meaning; this yields a composite meaning, applied to the new character. E.g. 東/东 dōng "east". 形聲/形声 xíngshēng: Phonetic complexes, in which one part—often called the radical—indicates the general semantic category of the character, the other part is another character, used for its phonetic value. Example: 晴 qíng "clear/fair", composed of 日 rì "sun", 青 qīng "blue/green", used for its pronunciation.
In contrast to the popular conception of Chinese as a pictographic or ideographic language, the vast majority of Chinese characters are constructed as either logical aggregates or, more phonetic complexes. In fact, some phonetic complexes were simple pictographs that were augmented by the addition of a semantic root. An example is 炷 zhù "candle", a pictograph 主, a character, now pronounced zhǔ and means "host", or The character 火 huǒ "fire" was added to indicate that the meaning is fire-related; the last two principles do not produce new written forms Instead, they transfer new meanings to existing forms: 轉注/转注 zhuǎnzhù: Transference, in which a character with a simple, concrete meaning takes on an extended, more abstract meaning. Example: 網/网 wǎng "net", a pictograph depicting a fishing net. Over time, it has taken on an extended meaning. 假借 jiǎjiè: Borrowing, in which a character is used, either intentionally or accidentally, for some different purpose. Example: 哥 gē "older brother", written with a character meaning "song/sing", now written 歌 gē.
Once, there was no character for "older brother", so an otherwise unrelated character with the right pronunciation was borrowed for that meaning. Chinese characters are written to fit into a square when composed of two simpler forms written side-by-side or top-to-bottom. In such cases, each form is compressed to fit the entire character into a square. Character components can be further subdivided into strokes; the strokes of Chinese characters fall into eight main categories: h
Second Continental Congress
The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting in the spring of 1775 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It succeeded the First Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia between September 5, 1774, October 26, 1774; the Second Congress moved incrementally towards independence. It adopted the Lee Resolution which established the new country on July 2, 1776, it agreed to the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776; the Congress acted as the de facto national government of the United States by raising armies, directing strategy, appointing diplomats, making formal treaties such as the Olive Branch Petition. The Second Continental Congress came together on May 11, 1775 reconvening the First Continental Congress. Many of the 56 delegates who attended the first meeting were in attendance at the second, the delegates appointed the same president and secretary. Notable new arrivals included John Hancock of Massachusetts.
Within two weeks, Randolph was summoned back to Virginia to preside over the House of Burgesses. Henry Middleton was elected as president to replace Randolph. Hancock was elected president on May 24. Delegates from twelve of the Thirteen Colonies were present when the Second Continental Congress convened. Georgia had not participated in the First Continental Congress and did not send delegates to the Second. On May 13, 1775, Lyman Hall was admitted as a delegate from the Parish of St. John's in the Colony of Georgia, not as a delegate from the colony itself. On July 4, 1775, revolutionary Georgians held a Provincial Congress to decide how to respond to the American Revolution, that congress decided on July 8 to send delegates to the Continental Congress, they arrived on September 13. The First Continental Congress had sent entreaties to King George III to stop the Coercive Acts; the Second Continental Congress met on May 10, 1775 to plan further responses if the British government had not repealed or modified the acts.
For the first few months of the war, the Patriots carried on their struggle in an ad-hoc and uncoordinated manner. They had seized arsenals, driven out royal officials, besieged the British army in the city of Boston. On June 14, 1775, the Congress voted to create the Continental Army out of the militia units around Boston and appointed George Washington of Virginia as commanding general. On July 6, 1775, Congress approved a Declaration of Causes outlining the rationale and necessity for taking up arms in the Thirteen Colonies. On July 8, they extended the Olive Branch Petition to the British Crown as a final attempt at reconciliation. Silas Deane was sent to France as a minister of the Congress, American ports were reopened in defiance of the British Navigation Acts; the Continental Congress had no explicit legal authority to govern, but it assumed all the functions of a national government, such as appointing ambassadors, signing treaties, raising armies, appointing generals, obtaining loans from Europe, issuing paper money, disbursing funds.
The Congress had no authority to levy taxes and was required to request money and troops from the states to support the war effort. Individual states ignored these requests. Congress was moving towards declaring independence from the British Empire in 1776, but many delegates lacked the authority from their home governments to take such a drastic action. Advocates of independence moved to have reluctant colonial governments revise instructions to their delegations, or replace those governments which would not authorize independence. On May 10, 1776, Congress passed a resolution recommending that any colony with a government, not inclined toward independence should form one that was. On May 15, they adopted a more radical preamble to this resolution, drafted by John Adams, which advised throwing off oaths of allegiance and suppressing the authority of the Crown in any colonial government that still derived its authority from the Crown; that same day, the Virginia Convention instructed its delegation in Philadelphia to propose a resolution that called for a declaration of independence, the formation of foreign alliances, a confederation of the states.
The resolution of independence was delayed for several weeks, as advocates of independence consolidated support in their home governments. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee offered a resolution before the Congress declaring the colonies independent, he urged Congress to resolve "to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances" and to prepare a plan of confederation for the newly independent states. Lee argued that independence was the only way to ensure a foreign alliance, since no European monarchs would deal with America if they remained Britain's colonies. American leaders had rejected the divine right of kings in the New World, but recognized the necessity of proving their credibility in the Old World. Congress formally adopted the resolution of independence, but only after creating three overlapping committees to draft the Declaration, a Model Treaty, the Articles of Confederation; the Declaration announced the states' entry into the international
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most calcite or dolomite. Marble is not foliated, although there are exceptions. In geology, the term "marble" refers to metamorphosed limestone, but its use in stonemasonry more broadly encompasses unmetamorphosed limestone. Marble is used for sculpture and as a building material; the word "marble" derives from the Ancient Greek μάρμαρον, from μάρμαρος, "crystalline rock, shining stone" from the verb μαρμαίρω, "to flash, gleam". This stem is the ancestor of the English word "marmoreal", meaning "marble-like." While the English term "marble" resembles the French marbre, most other European languages, more resemble the original Ancient Greek. Marble is a rock resulting from metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, most limestone or dolomite rock. Metamorphism causes variable recrystallization of the original carbonate mineral grains; the resulting marble rock is composed of an interlocking mosaic of carbonate crystals.
Primary sedimentary textures and structures of the original carbonate rock have been modified or destroyed. Pure white marble is the result of metamorphism of a pure limestone or dolomite protolith; the characteristic swirls and veins of many colored marble varieties are due to various mineral impurities such as clay, sand, iron oxides, or chert which were present as grains or layers in the limestone. Green coloration is due to serpentine resulting from magnesium-rich limestone or dolostone with silica impurities; these various impurities have been mobilized and recrystallized by the intense pressure and heat of the metamorphism. Examples of notable marble varieties and locations: White marble has been prized for its use in sculptures since classical times; this preference has to do with its softness, which made it easier to carve, relative isotropy and homogeneity, a relative resistance to shattering. The low index of refraction of calcite allows light to penetrate several millimeters into the stone before being scattered out, resulting in the characteristic waxy look which gives "life" to marble sculptures of any kind, why many sculptors preferred and still prefer marble for sculpting.
Construction marble is a stone, composed of calcite, dolomite or serpentine, capable of taking a polish. More in construction the dimension stone trade, the term "marble" is used for any crystalline calcitic rock useful as building stone. For example, Tennessee marble is a dense granular fossiliferous gray to pink to maroon Ordovician limestone, that geologists call the Holston Formation. Ashgabat, the capital city of Turkmenistan, was recorded in the 2013 Guinness Book of Records as having the world's highest concentration of white marble buildings. According to the United States Geological Survey, U. S. domestic marble production in 2006 was 46,400 tons valued at about $18.1 million, compared to 72,300 tons valued at $18.9 million in 2005. Crushed marble production in 2006 was 11.8 million tons valued at $116 million, of which 6.5 million tons was finely ground calcium carbonate and the rest was construction aggregate. For comparison, 2005 crushed marble production was 7.76 million tons valued at $58.7 million, of which 4.8 million tons was finely ground calcium carbonate and the rest was construction aggregate.
U. S. dimension marble demand is about 1.3 million tons. The DSAN World Demand for Marble Index has shown a growth of 12% annually for the 2000–2006 period, compared to 10.5% annually for the 2000–2005 period. The largest dimension marble application is tile. In 1998, marble production was dominated by 4 countries that accounted for half of world production of marble and decorative stone. Italy and China were the world leaders, each representing 16% of world production, while Spain and India produced 9% and 8%, respectively. Italy is the world leader in marble export, with 20% share in global marble production, followed by China with 16%, India with 10%, Spain with 6%, Portugal with 5%. Dust produced by cutting marble could cause lung disease but more research needs to be carried out on whether dust filters and other safety products reduce this risk; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set the legal limit for marble exposure in the workplace as 15 mg/m3 total exposure and 5 mg/m3 respiratory exposure over an 8-hour workday.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has set a recommended exposure limit of 10 mg/m3 total exposure and 5 mg/m3 respiratory exposure over an 8-hour workday. Acids damage marble, because the calcium carbonate in marble reacts with them, releasing carbon dioxide: CaCO3 + 2H+ → Ca2+ + CO2 + H2O Thus, vinegar or other acidic solutions should never be used on marble. Outdoor marble statues, gravestones, or other marble structures are damaged by acid rain; the haloalkaliphilic methylotrophic bacterium Methylophaga murata was isolated from deteriorating marble in the Kremlin. Bacterial and fungal degradation was detected in four samples of marble from Milan cathedral; as the favorite medium for Greek and Roman sculptors and architects, marble has become a cultural symbol of tradition and refined taste. Its varied and colorful patterns make i
Cangjie is a legendary figure in ancient China, claimed to be an official historian of the Yellow Emperor and the inventor of Chinese characters. Legend has it that he had four eyes, that when he invented the characters, the deities and ghosts cried and the sky rained millet, he is considered a legendary rather than historical figure, or at least, not considered to be sole inventor of Chinese characters. Cangjie was the eponym for the Cangjiepian proto-dictionary, the Cangjie method of inputting characters into a computer, a Martian rock visited by the Mars rover Spirit, named by the rover team. There are several versions of the legend. One tells that shortly after unifying China, the Yellow Emperor, being dissatisfied with his "rope knot tying" method of recording information, charged Cangjie with the task of creating characters for writing. Cangjie settled down on the bank of a river, devoted himself to the completion of the task at hand. After devoting much time and effort, however, he was unable to create one character.
One day, Cangjie saw a phoenix flying in the sky above, carrying an object in its beak. The object fell to the ground directly in front of Cangjie, he saw it to be an impression of a hoof-print. Not being able to recognize which animal the print belonged to, he asked for the help of a local hunter passing by on the road; the hunter told him that this was, without a doubt, the hoof print of a Pixiu, being different from the hoof-print of any other beast, alive. His conversation with the hunter inspired Cangjie, leading him to believe that if he could capture in a drawing the special characteristics that set apart each and every thing on the earth, this would be the perfect kind of character for writing. From that day forward, Cangjie paid close attention to the characteristics of all things, including the sun, stars, lakes, oceans, as well as all manner of bird and beast, he began to create characters according to the special characteristics he found, before long, had compiled a long list of characters for writing.
To the delight of the Yellow Emperor, Cangjie presented him with the complete set of characters. The emperor called the premiers of each of the nine provinces together in order for Cangjie to teach them this new writing system. Monuments and temples were erected in Cangjie's honor on the bank of the river where he created these characters. Another version of the legend tells that Cangjie was inspired by observing the network of veins on a turtle; this version is interesting relative to archaeology because turtle shells are one of the most common media on which the earliest known Chinese inscriptions are found, including the Jiahu symbols. There are tombs dedicated to Cangjie in the provinces of Shandong, Henan and Shaanxi. Neolithic signs in China Oracle bone script Media related to Cangjie at Wikimedia Commons
The Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial in Washington, D. C. dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, one of the most important of the American Founding Fathers as the main drafter and writer of the Declaration of Independence, member of the Continental Congress, governor of the newly independent Commonwealth of Virginia, American minister to King Louis XVI, the Kingdom of France, first U. S. Secretary of State under the first President George Washington, the second Vice President of the United States under second President John Adams, the third President, as well as being the founder of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, Virginia; the neoclassical Memorial building is situated in West Potomac Park on the shore of the Tidal Basin off the Washington Channel of the Potomac River. It was designed by the architect John Russell Pope and built by the Philadelphia contractor John McShain. Construction of the building began in 1939 and was completed in 1943; the bronze statue of Jefferson was added in 1947.
Pope made references to the Roman Pantheon and Jefferson's own design for the Rotunda at the University of Virginia. The Jefferson Memorial, the White House located directly north, form one of the main anchor points in the area of the National Mall in D. C; the Washington Monument, just east of the axis on the national Mall, was intended to be located at the intersection of the White House and the site for the Jefferson Memorial to the south, but soft swampy ground which defied 19th century engineering required it be sited to the east. The Jefferson Memorial is managed by the National Park Service of the United States Department of the Interior under its National Mall and Memorial Parks division. In 2007, it was ranked fourth on the "List of America's Favorite Architecture" by the American Institute of Architects, it became apparent that the site was well suited for another high-profile memorial since it sat directly south of the White House. By 1901 the Senate Park Commission, better known as the McMillan Commission, had proposed placing a Pantheon-like structure on the site hosting "the statues of the illustrious men of the nation, or whether the memory of some individual shall be honored by a monument of the first rank may be left to the future".
The completion of the Tidal Basin Inlet Bridge in 1908 helped to facilitate the recreational usage of East and West Potomac Parks. In 1918, large liquid-chlorine dispensers were installed under the bridge to treat the water and make the Tidal Basin suitable for swimming; the Tidal Basin Beach, on the site of the future Memorial, opened in May 1918 and operated as a "Whites Only" facility until 1925, when it was permanently closed to avoid the question of racial integration. A design competition was held for a memorial to Theodore Roosevelt in 1925; the winning design was submitted by John Russell Pope and consisted of a half-circle memorial situated next to a circular basin. The plan was not built; the Memorial's chance came in 1934 when President Franklin Roosevelt, an admirer of Jefferson himself, inquired to the Commission of Fine Arts about the possibility of erecting a memorial to Jefferson, including it in the plans for the Federal Triangle project, under construction at the time. The same year, Congressman John J. Boylan jumped off FDR's starting point and urged Congress to create the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission.
Boylan was appointed the Commission's first chairman and Congress appropriated $3 million for a memorial to Jefferson. The Commission chose John Russell Pope as the architect in 1935. Pope was the architect of the National Archives Building and original building of the National Gallery of Art, he prepared four different plans for each on a different site. One was on the Anacostia River at the end of East Capitol Street; the Commission preferred the site on the Tidal Basin because it was the most prominent site and because it completed the four-point plan called for by the McMillan Commission. Pope designed a large pantheon-like structure, to sit on a square platform, to be flanked by two smaller, colonnaded buildings. Construction began on December 15, 1938, the cornerstone was laid on November 15, 1939, by Franklin Roosevelt. By this point Pope had died and his surviving partners, Daniel P. Higgins and Otto R. Eggers, took over construction of the memorial; the design was modified at the request of the Commission of Fine Arts to a more conservative design.
Construction commenced amid significant opposition. The Commission of Fine Arts never approved any design for the Memorial and published a pamphlet in 1939 opposing both the design and site of the Memorial. In addition, many Washingtonians opposed the site because it was not aligned with L'Enfant's original plan. Many well established elm and cherry trees had to be removed for construction. Construction continued amid the opposition. In 1939, the Memorial Commission hosted a competition to select a sculptor for the planned statue in the center of the Memorial, they chose six finalists. Of the six, Rudulph Evans was chosen as the main sculptor and Adolph A. Weinman was chosen to sculpt the pediment relief situated above the entrance. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. designed the memorial landscape. The Olmsted planting plan installed at the time of construction featured a simple design within a circular driveway.
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest officer in the executive branch of the U. S. federal government, after the President of the United States, ranks first in the presidential line of succession. The Vice President is an officer in the legislative branch, as President of the Senate. In this capacity, the Vice President presides over Senate deliberations, but may not vote except to cast a tie-breaking vote; the Vice President presides over joint sessions of Congress. The Vice President is indirectly elected together with the President to a four-year term of office by the people of the United States through the Electoral College. Section 2 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment, ratified in 1967, created a mechanism for intra-term vice presidential succession, establishing that vice presidential vacancies will be filled by the president and confirmed by both houses of Congress. Whenever a vice president had succeeded to the presidency or had died or resigned from office, the vice presidency remained vacant until the next presidential and vice presidential terms began.
The Vice President is a statutory member of the National Security Council, the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. The Office of the Vice President organises the vice president's official functions; the role of the vice presidency has changed since the office was created during the 1787 constitutional Convention. Over the past 100 years, the vice presidency has evolved into a position of domestic and foreign policy political power, is now seen as an integral part of a president's administration; as the Vice President's role within the executive branch has expanded, his role within the legislative branch has contracted. The Constitution does not expressly assign the vice presidency to any one branch, causing a dispute among scholars about which branch of government the office belongs to: 1) the executive branch; the modern view of the vice president as an officer of the executive branch is due in large part to the assignment of executive authority to the vice president by either the president or Congress.
Mike Pence of Indiana is the current Vice President of the United States. He assumed office on January 20, 2017. No mention of an office of vice president was made at the 1787 Constitutional Convention until near the end, when an 11-member committee on "Leftover Business" proposed a method of electing the chief executive. Delegates had considered the selection of the Senate's presiding officer, deciding that, "The Senate shall choose its own President," and had agreed that this official would be designated the executive's immediate successor, they had considered the mode of election of the executive but had not reached consensus. This all changed on September 4, when the committee recommended that the nation's chief executive be elected by an Electoral College, with each state having a number of presidential electors equal to the sum of that state's allocation of representatives and senators; the proposed presidential election process called for each state to choose members of the electoral college, who would use their discretion to select the candidates they individually viewed as best qualified.
Recognizing that loyalty to one's individual state outweighed loyalty to the new federation, the Constitution's framers assumed that individual electors would be inclined to choose a candidate from their own state over one from another. So they created the office of vice president and required that electors vote for two candidates, requiring that at least one of their votes must be for a candidate from outside the elector's state, believing that this second vote could be cast for a candidate of national character. Additionally, to guard against the possibility that some electors might strategically throw away their second vote in order to bolster their favorite son's chance of winning, it was specified that the first runner-up presidential candidate would become vice president. Creating this new office imposed a political cost on strategically discarded electoral votes, incentivizing electors to make their choices for president without resort to electoral gamesmanship and to cast their second ballot accordingly.
The resultant method of electing the president and vice president, spelled out in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3, allocated to each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of its Senate and House of Representatives membership. Each elector was allowed to vote for two people for president, but could not differentiate between their first and second choice for the presidency; the person receiving the greatest number of votes would be president, while the individual who received the next largest number of votes became vice president. If there were a tie for first or for second place, or if no one won a majority of votes, the president and vice president would be selected by means of contingent elections protocols stated in the clause; the emergence of political parties and nationally coordinated election campaigns during the 1790s soon frustrated this original plan. In the election of 1796, Federalist John Adams won the presidency, but his bitter rival, Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson came second and became vice president.
Thus, the president and vice president were from opposing parties.
Quetzalcoatl is a deity in Mesoamerican culture and literature whose name comes from the Nahuatl language and means "feathered serpent" or "Quetzal-feathered Serpent". The worship of a Feathered Serpent is first documented in Teotihuacan in the first century BC or first century AD; that period lies within the Late Preclassic to Early Classic period of Mesoamerican chronology, veneration of the figure appears to have spread throughout Mesoamerica by the Late Classic period. In the Postclassic period, the worship of the feathered serpent deity was based in the primary Mexican religious center of Cholula, it is in this period that the deity is known to have been named "Quetzalcoatl" by his Nahua followers. In the Maya area, he was equivalent to Kukulkan and Gukumatz, names that roughly translate as "feathered serpent" in different Mayan languages. Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god of wind and learning, wears around his neck the "wind breastplate" ehecailacocozcatl, "the spirally voluted wind jewel" made of a conch shell.
This talisman was a conch shell cut at the cross-section and was worn as a necklace by religious rulers, as they have been discovered in burials in archaeological sites throughout Mesoamerica, symbolized patterns witnessed in hurricanes, dust devils and whirlpools, which were elemental forces that had significance in Aztec mythology. In codex drawings and Xolotl were both pictured as wearing an ehecailacocozcatl around each of their necks. There has additionally been at least one major cache of offerings with knives and idols adorned with the symbols of more than one god, some of which were adorned with wind jewels. In the era following the 16th-century Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, a number of sources were written that conflate Quetzalcoatl with Ce Acatl Topiltzin, a ruler of the mythico-historic city of Tollan, it is a matter of much debate among historians to which degree, or whether at all, these narratives about this legendary Toltec ruler describe historical events. Furthermore, early Spanish sources written by clerics tend to identify the god-ruler Quetzalcoatl of these narratives with either Hernán Cortés or Thomas the Apostle—an identification, a source of a diversity of opinions about the nature of Quetzalcoatl.
Among the Aztecs, whose beliefs are the best-documented in the historical sources, Quetzalcoatl was related to gods of the wind, of the planet Venus, of the dawn, of merchants and of arts and knowledge. He was the patron god of the Aztec priesthood, of learning and knowledge. Quetzalcoatl was one of several important gods in the Aztec pantheon, along with the gods Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli. Two other gods represented by the planet Venus are Quetzalcoatl's ally Tlaloc, the god of rain, Quetzalcoatl's twin and psychopomp, named Xolotl. Animals thought to represent Quetzalcoatl include resplendent quetzals, rattlesnakes and macaws. In his form as Ehecatl he is the wind, is represented by spider monkeys and the wind itself. In his form as the morning star, Venus, he is depicted as a harpy eagle. In Mazatec legends, the astrologer deity Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, represented by Venus, bears a close relationship with Quetzalcoatl. A feathered serpent deity has been worshiped by many different ethnopolitical groups in Mesoamerican history.
The existence of such worship can be seen through studies of the iconography of different Mesoamerican cultures, in which serpent motifs are frequent. On the basis of the different symbolic systems used in portrayals of the feathered serpent deity in different cultures and periods, scholars have interpreted the religious and symbolic meaning of the feathered serpent deity in Mesoamerican cultures; the earliest iconographic depiction of the deity is believed to be found on Stela 19 at the Olmec site of La Venta, depicting a serpent rising up behind a person engaged in a shamanic ritual. This depiction is believed to have been made around 900 BC. Although not a depiction of the same feathered serpent deity worshipped in classic and post-classic periods, it shows the continuity of symbolism of feathered snakes in Mesoamerica from the formative period and on, for example in comparison to the Mayan Vision Serpent shown below; the first culture to use the symbol of a feathered serpent as an important religious and political symbol was Teotihuacan.
At temples such as the aptly named "Quetzalcoatl temple" in the Ciudadela complex, feathered serpents figure prominently and alternate with a different kind of serpent head. The earliest depictions of the feathered serpent deity were zoomorphic, depicting the serpent as an actual snake, but among the Classic Maya, the deity began acquiring human features. In the iconography of the classic period, Maya serpent imagery is prevalent: a snake is seen as the embodiment of the sky itself, a vision serpent is a shamanic helper presenting Maya kings with visions of the underworld; the archaeological record shows that after the fall of Teotihuacan that marked the beginning of the epi-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology around 600 AD, the cult of the feathered serpent spread to the new religious and political centers in central Mexico, centers such as Xochicalco and Cholula. Feathered serpent iconography is prominent at all of these sites. Cholula is known to have remained the most important center of worship to Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec/Nahua version of the feathered serpent deity, in the post-classic period.
During the epi-classic