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A Ladies' Night
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June 21, 2018
A Ladies’ Night

Dr. Megan O’Neil

New Discoveries
at the Pyramids
in the Ancient City of Teotihuacan, Mexico


Referred  by David Hayen Esq. 1203
The Explorers Club is a co-sponsor of the Program

View of Teotihuacan, Photograph by Jorge Pérez de Lara Elías, © INAH
New Discoveries at the Pyramids in the Ancient City of Teotihuacan, Mexico
The ancient city of Teotihuacan, located about 30 miles from Mexico City, was founded in the first century BC.  Over the next centuries it grew to be the largest urban center in the Americas and the sixth-largest city in the world.  At its peak in 400 CE, Teotihuacan was the cultural, political, economic and religious center of ancient Mesoamerica.

Although devastating fires and sacking in the city center in the 6th century led to its decline, Teotihuacan was never completely forgotten or abandoned.  Centuries later, the Aztecs revered the city and its monuments, giving many of the names that we still use today. 
Dr. Megan O’Neil, Associate Curator in the Art of the Ancient Americas at the Los Angeles County Museum of the Art (LACMA), will present the exhibition City and Cosmos: The Arts of Teotihuacan, which includes recent findings from Mexican national and international archaeological projects excavating at Teotihuacan’s three main pyramids—the Sun, Moon, and the Feathered Serpent—and major residential compounds. These discoveries have fundamentally changed our understanding of the city’s history.



The City and Cosmos exhibition, now on view at LACMA, includes both monumental sculptures and buried offerings and demonstrates how the artworks related to place. New discoveries reveal that both visible and buried works were arranged in specific ways to commemorate the city’s ancestral foundations and to forge relationships with vital, essential forces such as fire and water. 

Megan E. O’Neil, Associate Curator,
Art of the Ancient Americas, LACMA 

Dr. Megan E. O’Neil received her B.A. in Archaeological Studies from Yale College, an M.A. in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. in History of Art from Yale. Before LACMA, she taught at several universities. Her first book, Engaging Ancient Maya Sculpture at Piedras Negras, Guatemala (University of Oklahoma Press 2012), examines how the ancient Maya used sculptures to make contact with the past and how sculptures inspired reception and performance. She also has published on related topics in the journals Res, Ancient Mesoamerica, and the Journal of Visual Culture and in edited volumes. She published a revised edition of the book Maya Art and Architecture, co-authored with Mary Miller (Thames and Hudson 2014), and contributed to the award-winning book, Ancient Maya Art at Dumbarton Oaks (2012), and. For LACMA, she curated the exhibitions Revealing Creation: The Science and Art of Ancient Maya Ceramics; Forces of Nature: Ancient Maya Arts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which will tour in China in 2018-2019; and City and Cosmos: The Arts of Teotihuacan.

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