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Delica beads, shell centerpiece, found objects

Maya to Aztec

  • My father went to explore the Yucatan with the remarkable archeologist, physician, and naturalist Peter Thornquist, and started sending nightly missives from among the ruins in the jungle. Captivated, I sat down on the kitchen floor in Konstanz, Germany, with a Great Course and a pile of beads.


    Several civilizations developed in parallel in the Americas, but out of synch with each other, over thousands of years. There were confusing overlaps and alliances and struggles. And why did the Maya suddenly collapse by about 900 AD? Disease? Soil depletion? Drought? Volcanic eruption? Overthrow by some other group? Some change in leadership or agriculture or ideology?


    How are all of these questions and tangles and marvels reflected in this piece? I don’t know! It ended up looking like Mayan headgear and, and then suddenly it was done!

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