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Monuments and Dedicatory Burials at the Moon Pyramid of Teotihuacan: The Rise of Power and State Religion

Saburo Sugiyama, Aichi Prefectural University, Japan, Fellow 2005/06

During my fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks, my long-term research on the dedication burials, monuments, and city-layout of Teotihuacan progressed substantially, due to the library's myriad of comparative texts in Mesoamerican and Andean archaeology, ethnohistory, and art history. In particular, my spatial analyses of major monuments and the dedication burials found within them, resulted in an exciting outcome that seemingly links the data of sacrificial graves to the monumental constructions and general city planning at Teotihuacan meaningfully. The data analyses and interpretations I developed during my Dumbarton Oaks fellowship term were positively received by an experts' workshop organized at Colgate University in April.

As the project director of the Moon Pyramid Project at the site of Teotihuacan, I coordinated a series of publication projects and developed materials studies procedures. Despite the fact that extensive excavations and research on material remains and data have been conducted, these studies, published in Spanish, are still preliminary reports. The preparation of an extensive catalogue describing the significant and unique offerings as well as various material analyses carried out by my colleagues, require thorough and systematic completion. Therefore, I began structuring the contents of future publications and made contacts with publishers in order to disseminate the results of the project, including my own studies developed while in residence at Dumbarton Oaks. As a result of these efforts, descriptive volumes and a book in English will be published by INAH and the University of New Mexico Press respectively, and a permanent data bank with extensive web pages will be created at the Arizona State University.

During the spring term, I coordinated the exhibition Sacrificios de Consagración en la Pirámide de la Luna to be held April – July 2006 at the Templo Mayor Museum, co-edited an exhibition catalogue with Leonardo López Luján, for which I wrote two papers highlighting new information and interpretations I have recently developed, and participated in the opening ceremony in Mexico. I also collaborated with the journal Ancient Mesoamerica in preparing a special section on the Moon Pyramid Project, for which I wrote two papers including substantial data I organized while at Dumbarton Oaks. My additional studies and writing activities undertaken while at Dumbarton Oaks included one paper for the Shimada and Fitzsimmons' edited volume, one article for Encyclopedia of Archaeology from Academic Press, one article for Archaeology Now: Great Discoveries of Our Time, from Thames and Hudson, as well as many others, and all reflect my continuing study of ancient cities, monuments, and sacrificial burials at Teotihuacan.

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