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Pre-Columbian art

textiles stone america ceramics

Pre-Columbian art, art of what is now Latin America prior to Columbus' discovery of the Americas (1492). The two main cultural areas were the central Andes (southern Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, northwestern Argentina and northern Chile) and Meso-America (Mexico and Central America). In both areas artistic development took place after 3000 B.C. Monochrome-decorated pottery, female figurines, and elaborately designed textiles have been discovered in Ecuador and Peru dating from 3000–2500 B.C. The great Andean classical period noted for textiles, ceramics, gold and silver work, jewelry, and stone masonry took place in 1000 B.C.A.D. 800, prior to the Inca kingdom. The great city buildings at Cuzco, Machu Picchu, and Tiahuanaco are striking achievements. The Meso-Americans excelled in the graphic and plastic arts. From about A.D. 1000 the illuminated codex writings of the Mayas, Mixtecs, and Aztecs recorded mythological stories. Their temples, as at Chichén Itzá, are decorated with elaborately carved stone sculptures and reliefs, with wall frescoes inside. The Olmecs made small jade carvings and colossal stone heads. In Colombia the Chibcha Indians were skilled in ceramics, textiles, and jewelry.

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