ACTIVITIES

MATHEMATICS & SCIENCE

1.  The Head of the rain god Tlaloc was used to burn incense. What kinds of materials can be used for incense?  How do scents or fragrances affect us?  Think about the science of experiencing incense.  What makes incense aromatic?  What makes our sense of smell possible?

 

2.  A number of the objects in these Teaching Materials are ceramic.  Make a list of these objects and compare them.  As you investigate these objects, answer these questions:

 

a.    What is the basic material?

b.    What forms can ceramic objects take?

c.    How do artists create designs and decorations?

d.    What is burnishing?

e.    What is firing?

 

Create a table or chart that can be used to compare and contrast these objects.  Include the names of the people who made the objects and their countries of origin.  When you come to the Museum, you will see many more ceramic objects; look for ones similar to those you have studied. 

 

3.  Both the Lidded tetrapod bowl with paddler and peccaries and the Eccentric flint depicting a crocodile canoe with passengers have connections to the stars, the sun, and the sky.  Investigate the stars and the movement of the planets around the sun.  Compare your findings to ideas represented by the images on the Lidded tetrapod bowl and the Eccentric flint.  Think about this question:  Why might the stars, the sun, and the sky be important for the Maya?

 

4.  Both the Tablet with incised symbols and the Seated ruler in ritual pose are made of green stones.  These stones are not as rare as jadeite and they are not as hard.  Jadeite has a hardness between 6.5 and 7.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

 

  a.   What is the Mohs scale?

  b.   Who created the scale and when?

  c.   How many levels of hardness are in the Mohs scale?

  d.   List examples of the different levels of hardness.  

  e.   Why is it important to have a scale for hardness?

 

Now that you have investigated hardness, consider this question: How could the difficulty of carving stone add to the importance of an Olmec sculpture?

 

5.  Weaving and embroidery can be difficult processes.  For example: the weaver must plan ahead for the amount of yarn that will be needed  and embroidered designs are planned ahead in order for them to come out even. Look at the Paracas Mantle with birds and do some computations of your own.

 

If one side of the red, bird-embroidered squares is 4 inches, what is the PERIMETER of each red square? Write a formula for finding perimeters.

 

If one side of the red squares is 4 inches, what is the AREA of each red square?  Write a formula for finding areas.

 

Look closely again at the Mantle with birds.  Are each of the red areas true squares?  Is the overall checkerboard pattern exact?  Where do you see variations?