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Activity Idea: Standing Female Deity (Quick Tip)

Use the following strategies with Standing Female Deity

  1. Qualities of Clay and Marble [science, art]

Use your senses to explore pieces of wet and hardened clay. List the physical characteristics of this material. Do the same for a piece of marble. Why do you think artists have used these materials for centuries? What are the artistic advantages and disadvantages to both? What kind of tools does an artist need to work with each of these materials? Which would you rather work with?

  1. Object Preservation [science, art]

Discuss the physical condition of this sculpture, which dates to between 600-900 AD. How did the original location of the sculpture aid its survival? Research the science of archaeology. What tools do the archaeologists use to carefully excavate objects? Find some current dig sites in the Americas. Write a brief report about the archaeological finds at one of those sites.  

  1. Natural Resources [science, art]

Compare the ways the sculpture and a map provide information about Vera Cruz’s natural resources. What kinds of information do these different sources provide?

  1. Myth Making [language arts]

This figure represents or is associated with an unknown deity. Write a story about this mysterious deity based on the visual elements of the sculpture. Include details about this deity’s powers and the story of her creation. How might this sculpture relate to your deity?

  1. Firing Clay [art, science]

Study the process of firing clay. What purpose do the holes on the back of this sculpture serve? What would have been emitted through those holes?  What is the difference between high and low heat firing? How are the products different? What is the common practice for firing clay today? As an extension, model a figure out of clay, glaze it, and fire it in a kiln. Examine the physical qualities of the fired work of art.