Thursday, February 10, 2011

Architecture of the Maya is of special interest to FLAAR

Our photo archive of Puuc, Chenes, and Rio Bec temple architecture, palaces, interior spaces, corbel vaults, exterior decoration rival the entire decades of photography by the Carnegie Institution of Washington. The FLAAR Photo Archive images will tend to be clearer, higher resolution, and better illuminated than photographs in other archives of Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo. We used tripods, Leica, Hasselblad with Zeiss lenses, and portable Metz lighting in the final years.

Mayan ethnobotany

Our long-range goals are to build up a photographic trove of images of all the plants that were of interest to the Classic Maya (and still to Maya peoples today). I would bet you could find several hundred plants in a full list. To be realistic we are initially concentrating on sacred plants and flowers, trees used in house construction, plants used for colorants, and the most remarkable edible plants.

We differ from the many excellent web sites on botany by concentrating on providing professional quality digital images.

Mayan ethnozoology

Jaguars, monkeys, deer, peccary, turtles, fish, and toads are among the creatures of tropical Mesoamerica that are most often pictured by the Classic Maya in murals, ceramics, and in other art or artifacts. FLAAR is working to improve our lists of all animals of interest to the ancient Maya. But once we have the list of creatures the next step is to undertake systematic digital photography of these species. So it is important to understand digital photography in addition to understanding iconography and epigraphy where birds, reptiles, and amphibians are pictured.

Our focus (pun included) is to provide photographs that are better (and hence hopefully more useful to botanists, iconographers, epigraphers, and ethnographers) than just snapshots. Our institute works hard to offer images that really reveal the biological details of the snakes, turtles, insects, toads, and other species.

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For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

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