A Preliminary Lexicon Of Ulxc3X9Aa Medallion Motifs
The research presented here combines archaeological and linguistic inquiry to develop a preliminary lexical analysis of the subset of iconography that occurs as part of medallion motifs. These elements were part of the iconographic system that was developed and implemented in the Ulúa Valley of Honduras during the Classic Period (c. 300-900 AD). Medallions are an Ulúa iconographic construction in which a central element or set of elements is demarcated by framing features that separate the internal components from other iconographic elements and mark them as a cohesive textual unit. This analysis approaches medallions as a distinct iconographic form and treats the motifs that constitute them as an iconographic subset whose use was governed by rules of textuality. It creates a preliminary lexicon of these motifs and divides them into lexemes that are headed by lemmas so that future studies can more easily attempt to ascertain the rules that governed their structure and their positioning in broader iconographic compositions. The ceramics that constitute the corpus used for this analysis are housed in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University. Three hundred and seven pieces were incorporated into the sample set, and each of these has at least one medallion as part of its iconography. A variety of non-medallion motifs are also attested within the iconography of the sample corpus, though these elements are not relevant to the present analysis. All of the samples used in this analysis have documented provenience; they come from several locations, including the sites of Aguatal, Chasnigua Farm, Las Flores Bolsa, Lo de Vaca, Playa de los Muertos, Santa Rita, Siguatepeque, and Yarumela. This diversity of provenience allows the lexicon to more accurately represent the whole of Ulúa iconography and incorporate a more comprehensive list of medallion lexemes.
archaeology; linguistics; textuality
Gleach, Frederic Wright
Master of Arts
dissertation or thesis