Ancient Mesoamerica

THE COUPLE IN THE CAVE: Origin Iconography on a Ceramic Vessel from Los Naranjos, Honduras

Jesper  Nielsen  a1 and James E.  Brady  a2 c1
a1 Department of American Indian Languages and Cultures, Institute of Regional and Cross-Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen, Artillerivej 86, 2300 KBH.S, Denmark
a2 Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90032, USA

Article author query
nielsen j   [Google Scholar] 
brady je   [Google Scholar] 


This article analyzes the iconography on a ceramic vessel collected from the site of Los Naranjos, Honduras, over 70 years ago by Danish archaeologist Jens Yde. The relatively more naturalistic representation of the scene on the vessel allows us to interpret the motifs called “dancing figures” as relating to a well-documented corpus of Mesoamerican origin mythology. We then turn our attention to the site of Los Naranjos and document the fact that the area of Lake Yojoa closely mirrors the idealized Mesoamerican landscape associated with the place of the earth's creation. Combining this insight with the depiction on the Yde vessel, we suggest that the Cave of Tauleve may have been considered the place of human creation or human emergence.

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