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THE SERPENT MOUND
Posted by: Write My Essay on: May 14, 2017

Sample by My Essay Writer

Compare and contrast the Serpent Mound with the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán. Be sure and discuss their varied formal approaches (medium, scale, etc) as well as their symbolism and function in society.


The Serpent Mound dates from 400 to 1100 CE and is the largest and most famous effigy mound. The Serpent Mound consists of three parts, which extend to over 1,330 feet. It varies in height from just a few feet to over 100 feet tall. The Serpent Mount rests on the landscape with its head facing or encapsulating a second object approaching a cliff above a stream. The Serpent was constructed to honor the cosmic rhythms. It accomplishes this through its form and structure that winds back and forth before the tail ends in a coil. The Serpent’s head is aligned with the summer solstice sunset, and each of the three humplike coils of the serpent’s body appear to be aligned respectively to the summer solstice sunrise, the Equinox sunrise, and the winter solstice sunrise. This proclaims the understanding and admiration for the celestial realm. This effigy does not contain any human remains, unlike others. It was not constructed for burial purposes; rather, it was site of ceremonial rituals relating to cosmological beliefs.

The Pyramid of the Sun, which is 63 meters (206 feet) tall and 215 meters (705 feet) square, is the largest of the Teotihuacán structures. Teotihuacán was a deeply religious civilization. The Pyramid of the Sun was considered a space reserved for ceremonial rituals. Only the elite had the privilege view of the universe from this massive structure. With each step, the climbers ascended closer to the heavens, creating the illusion of reaching the stars, the moon, and the sun. The Pyramid of the Sun has a more important function than just a representation of Teotihuacan’s connection to the spirit world and the material world. Pyramid of the Sun is a reflection between manmade structures and nature.

Most of the earthworks discussed in Module Two are ephemeral in nature, meaning they are transitory and will one day cease to exist. What is your opinion of ephemeral art? Do you agree that art should have a life cycle or aim to last forever? What are some of the pros and cons of this type of artwork?

As an artist, I would like for my artwork to remain as long as possible. However, nothing can escape time and decay. I disagree that art should have a life cycle. I believe that a project should be done so well that for many years, even hundreds of years, it will not have changed. On the other hand, I understand the deeper meaning of ephemeral art. When the viewer sees the artwork decaying with nature, there is more of an appreciation for art itself and the hard work. Some benefits to ephemeral art are: it is ecofriendly, never replicated, and makes an imprint in the memory of the viewer, as it will never be seen again. On the down side, it is short-lived.

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