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Art of the Ancient Americas

A Field Guide to Animals of the Americas: Compile a field guide to animals of the Americas using the Art Collector tool at (Art Collector is free but you'll need to log in.) Choose an animal from the collection and use the "add text" function to write a description of the animal based on its appearance in the work of art. Then research the animal and add a description of its behavior. What special characteristics of the animal might have made it special to the culture that created the work of art? (See Fact 3 above) Include your ideas in your field guide entry. Click here to begin or here to learn more about Art Collector.  

The World on a Pot: What features of the natural world are prominent where you live? Choose a land form or weather pattern you know well. Let it be the inspiration for an abstract pattern to decorate the surface of a pot. Review examples from the ancient Americas in Art Collector by clicking here. What natural features do these examples suggest to you? What do you see that makes you say that?  

Ancient American Art Supplies: The American continents include a wide variety of climates and terrain. Choose a region to investigate. What materials would have been available to an artist in that region 1000 years ago? Consider plants, rocks and minerals, and animal parts. Which of those materials do you imagine would be easiest to work with? Which would you expect to survive over time?  

En espaƱol: Click here for a Spanish version of these pages.  

November 2003