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Over Easy

By: Ruth Calvo Thursday September 18, 2014 2:49 am

Over Easy

The community that began with Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner continues. Today we collect news from outside the usual, and renew the discussion.

We can’t take a personal look at the Antarctic ice cap without taking a ship to the area so most of us are not aware of another dark side of climate change and its effects: the actual darkening of the ice.

The ice pack in Greenland this year is black. Reports Slate’s Eric Holthaus:

‘There are several potential explanations for what’s going on here. The most likely is that some combination of increasingly infrequent summer snowstorms, wind-blown dust, microbial activity, and forest fire soot led to this year’s exceptionally dark ice. A more ominous possibility is that what we’re seeing is the start of a cascading feedback loop tied to global warming. [Climate scientist Jason] Box mentions this summer’s mysterious Siberian holes and offshore methane bubbles as evidence that the Arctic can quickly change in unpredictable ways.

This year, Greenland’s ice sheet was the darkest Box (or anyone else) has ever measured. Box gives the stunning stats: ‘In 2014 the ice sheet is precisely 5.6 percent darker, producing an additional absorption of energy equivalent with roughly twice the US annual electricity consumption.’

Voters in Scotland have been casting their ballots on the independence of that country, with prediction of disaster and of new and heady powers balancing each other to nearly even predictions as to the results. The state of the U.K. has alienated many in the country it rules; ‘Some see the U.K. as stuck in a postimperial, postindustrial crisis in which marketization threatens the very fabric of the society, imperiling its finest institutions, such as the National Health Service and British universities. ‘

A Panelbase poll released earlier on Wednesday, which was not carried out for any media outlet, suggested support for independence was on 48%, with 52% support for Scotland staying in the UK, once undecided voters were excluded.

The Pope will meet with Argentine president de Kirchner Saturday, with vulture funds’ court decisions part of the agenda, as well as the governance of the embattled country, a Vatican spokesman confirmed.

‘He is Argentine and has lived what we all have. He supports the democratic process, that means watching for Cristina (Fernández),’ Karcher said in statements to media this morning ahead of a meeting between the pontiff and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to be held in the papal residency of Santa Marta this weekend.

Regarding the meeting’s agenda, the monsignor considered the scope of issues the heads of state are expected to discuss ‘very wide’ with ‘no matter being excluded,’ leaving a door open for both leaders to address Argentina’s legal dispute against vulture funds. Pope Francis, Karcher said, ‘is critical of any position that does not favour the people.’

Never.Give.Up.

 

Saturday Art and Archaeology; Maya Glyphs, Symbol Writings

By: Ruth Calvo Saturday September 13, 2014 1:16 am

 

Stela 2, Glyphs on rear view, Field of Stelae,  Copán

Spiro Mounds, OK, symbolic artistic representations

Use of symbols has characterized early communications as far back as petroglyphs, cave drawings, and our earliest art objects now for the most part being recovered from graves.   Often, early art reflects a use of modeling that resembles the same element from other, far distant locations.

Glyphs formed a Mayan means of communication, and have been translated ever more deeply in present day studies of the civilization.  Excavations are turning up ever more in-depth knowledge of the culture as relics are found and their history discovered.

Mayan glyphs are a combination of logograms (symbols that represent a word) and syllabograms (symbols that represent a phonetic sound or syllable). Any given word can be expressed by a lone logogram or a combination of syllabograms. Sentences were composed of both of these types of glyphs. A Mayan text was read from top to bottom, left to right. The glyphs are generally in pairs: in other words, you start at the top left, read two glyphs, then go down to the next pair. Often the glyphs were accompanied by a larger image, such as kings, priests or gods. The Glyphs would elaborate on what the person in the image was doing.

(snip)

The glyphs were once thought of as an alphabet, with different glyphs corresponding to letters: this is because Bishop Diego de Landa, a sixteenth century priest with extensive experience with Maya texts (he burned thousands of them) said so and it took centuries for researchers to learn that Landa’s observations were close but not exactly right. Great steps were taken when the Maya and modern calendars were correlated (Joseph Goodman, Juan Martíñez Hernandez and J Eric S. Thompson, 1927) and when glyphs were identified as syllables, (Yuri Knozorov, 1958) and when “Emblem Glyphs,” or glyphs that represent a single city, were identified. Today, most of the known Maya glyphs have been deciphered, thanks to countless hours of diligent work by many researchers.

The Maya Codices:

Pedro de Alvarado was sent by Hernán Cortés in 1523 to conquer the Maya region: at the time, there were thousands of Maya books or “codices” which were still used and read by the descendants of the mighty civilization. It’s one of the great cultural tragedies of history that nearly all of these books were burned by zealous priests during the colonial era. Today, only four badly battered Maya books remain (and the authenticity of one is sometimes questioned). The four remaining Maya codices are, of course, written in hieroglyphic language and mostly deal with astronomy, the movements of Venus, religion, rituals, calendars and other information kept by the Maya priest class.

Glyphs on Temples and Stelae:

The Maya were accomplished stonemasons and frequently carved glyphs onto their temples and buildings. They also erected “stelae,” large, stylized statues of their kings and rulers. Along the temples and on the stelae are found many glyphs which explain the significance of the kings, rulers or deeds depicted. The glyphs usually contain a date and a brief description, such as “penance of the king.” Names are often included, and particularly skilled artists (or workshops) would also add their stone “signature.”

The appearance of the stelae at Copán shows use of glyphs to identify individuals, and tell about their heritage.   Last week’s Altar Q has figures that trace a lineage that was the basis of the rule of the leader who had it created, to authenticate his reign.

Other cultures and societies have used such symbolism, and our own country’s tribes have left relics such as those at Albuquerque’s Petroglyphs.  Egyptian writing took long ages to translate, and was the original heiroglyph translation.

Heiroglyphs in Copán Archaeological Museum

Descriptiion of glyphs

Copán ruins, deathheads and glyphs

The use of death heads, and probosces of butterflies, that go through a deathlike chrysalis stage, is associated with reverence for past rulers and shows them as returning from death to be assistance to the reigning house at the time of the sculpture.

Peruvian ceramic, in Smithsonian Museum, from 750 – 0 B.C., featuring inscribed symbols, and death head

 

Proboscis of butterfly on altar in Copán Archaeological Museum

Petroglyphs appear to represent snakes, Big Bend National Park

Over Easy

By: Ruth Calvo Thursday September 11, 2014 3:44 am

Over Easy

The community that began with Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner continues. Today we collect news from outside the usual, and renew the discussion.

Another anniversary of September 11th, originally Patriot Day after the date of the Battle of Lexington and Concord,  occurs today, with the hope that further atrocities can be avoided.

In the Pretorius trial, the Judge has delivered this opinion; ‘In the charge of premeditated murder, the evidence is purely circumstantial, the judge says.’  The finding is error, not intentional homicide.   Final verdict has not yet been announced as of this time.

“How could the accused have reasonably foreseen the shot he fired would have killed the deceased? Clearly he did not subjectively foresee this, that he would have killed the person behind the door, let alone the deceased,” says Judge Masipa…The only two remaining charges are either culpable homicide or acquittal.

Reports of al Jazeera insistence that the beheading of U.S. journalists was staged and provided the basis for U.S. intervention appeared in other media from the area, criticizing the report’s accuracy and sensitivity.

“Perhaps the first thing that draws the attention of the viewer” in the first beheading video is that “Foley was playing the role of champion not the victim only, for he recites a lengthy statement in peerless theatrical performance, and it seems from tracking the movement of his eyes that he was reading a text from an autocue,” the Al Jazeera report said.

The report even expressed doubts over the identity of the masked killer, saying: “he does not have the features of common jihadist figures, but he was rather similar to a Hollywood actor.”

Muslim groups called for a meeting to organize against the ISIS killings and their self-proclaimed. association with Islam.  Maha Akeel of the Saudi-based Organization of the Islamic Conference pointed out that the killings have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.

“We can’t call them an Islamic group, but a criminal one,” she explained, emphasizing Al-Azhar’s online campaign, which urges people and news outlets to stop calling ISIS Islamic.

A go-slow demonstration by leading internet firms was started Wednesday to show the effects of an end that is threatened to net neutrality.

Tech firms including Netflix, Etsy, FourSquare, KickStarter, Mozilla, Reddit, PornHub and Vimeo installed a widget on their sites to show how they believe the internet would look if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) overturns “net neutrality” rules.

The FCC has been forced to rewrite its rules on governing the internet after a series of court defeats at the hands of cable and telecom companies. Wednesday’s protests are against one proposal that would allow cable firms to create “fast lanes” for paying customers who use a lot of bandwidth. Critics charge that move would end net neutrality – the concept that the internet is a level playing field and internet service providers can not discriminate against any individual, organisation or company.

Rights groups urged Gambian President Jammeh to reject proposed law to further criminalize homosexuality by making continuing gay behavior subject to imprisonment and establishing a new charge of “aggravated homosexuality” targeting repeat offenders.

“Gambia’s national assembly and the president should not endorse state-sponsored homophobia,” said Stephen Cockburn, Amnesty International’s deputy regional director for west and central Africa.

He described the proposal as a “profoundly damaging act that violates international human rights law.”

But Jammeh, a former military officer who seized power in a 1994 coup, has shown few signs of bowing to pressure on Gambia’s anti-gay laws in the past. He has repeatedly denounced homosexuality and once vowed to behead gays, although he later retracted the threat.

Never.Give.Up.

Sunday Food: Mayonnaise

By: Ruth Calvo Sunday September 7, 2014 12:21 am

 

Mayonnaise

(Picture courtesy of Paul at flickr.com.)

The final condiment in this three week series, to give it equal time, is more like a salad dressing than the previous ones, mustard and ketchup.  While many sandwich eaters will find that a mayonnaise is part of their salad sandwiches, it seems that only a minority put them on those standard hamburgers and hot dogs, or other meat sandwiches.  As a kid, I liked mayo on my sandwiches, but somewhere along the way I grew into mustard, and now that is what I prefer.

Sources place the origin of mayonnaise as being the town of Mahón in MenorcaSpain, from where it was taken to France after Armand de Vignerot du Plessis‘s victory over the British at the city’s port in 1756. According to this version, the sauce was originally known as salsa mahonesa in Spanish and maonesa (later maionesa) in Catalan (as it is still known in Menorca), later becoming mayonnaise as it was popularized by the French.[7]

The Larousse Gastronomique suggests: “Mayonnaise, in our view, is a popular corruption of moyeunaise, derived from the very old French word moyeu, which means yolk of egg.”[8] The sauce may have been christened mayennaise after Charles de Lorraine, duke of Mayenne, because he took the time to finish his meal of chicken with cold sauce before being defeated in the Battle of Arques.[9]

Nineteenth-century culinary writer Pierre Lacam suggested that in 1459, a London woman named Annamarie Turcauht stumbled upon this condiment after trying to create a custard of some sort.[10]

According to Trutter et al.: “It is highly probable that wherever olive oil existed, a simple preparation of oil and egg came about — particularly in the Mediterranean region, where aioli (oil andgarlic) is made.”[7]

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term mayonnaise was in use in English as early as 1823 in the journal of Lady Blessington.[11]

Making mayonnaise[edit]

Mayonnaise can be made by hand with a mortar and pestle,[12] whisk or fork, or with the aid of an electric mixer or blender. Mayonnaise is made by slowly adding oil to an egg yolk, while whisking vigorously to disperse the oil. The oil and the water in yolks form a base of the emulsion, while lecithin and protein from the yolks are the emulsifiers that stabilize it.[13] Additionally, a bit of a mustard may also be added to sharpen its taste, and further stabilize the emulsion. Mustard contains small amounts of lecithin.[14] If vinegar is added directly to the yolk it can emulsify more oil, thus making more mayonnaise.[15]

For large-scale preparation of mayonnaise where mixing equipment is being employed the process typically begins with the dispersal of eggs, either powdered or liquid, into water. Once emulsified, the remaining ingredients are then added and vigorously mixed until completely hydrated and evenly dispersed. Oil is then added as rapidly as it can be absorbed. Though only a small part of the total, ingredients other than the oil are critical to proper formulation. These must be totally hydrated and dispersed within a small liquid volume, which can cause difficulties including emulsion breakdown during the oil-adding phase. Often a long agitation process is required to achieve proper dispersal/emulsification, presenting one of the trickiest phases of the production process.[16]

(snip)

Commercial mayonnaise sold in jars originated in Philadelphia in 1907 when Amelia Schlorer decided to start selling her own mayonnaise recipe originally used in salads sold in the family grocery store. Mrs. Schlorer’s Mayonnaise was an instant success with local customers and eventually grew into the Schlorer Delicatessen Company.[20] Around the same time in New York City, a family from VetschauGermany, at Richard Hellmann’s delicatessen on Columbus Avenue, featured his wife’s homemade recipe in salads sold in their delicatessen. The condiment quickly became so popular that Hellmann began selling it in “wooden boats” that were used for weighing butter. In 1912, Mrs. Hellmann’s mayonnaise was mass-marketed and later was trademarked in 1926 as Hellmann’s Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise.[21]

At about the same time that Mrs. Schlorer’s and Hellmann’s Mayonnaise were thriving on the East Coast of the United States, a California company, Best Foods, introduced their own mayonnaise, which turned out to be very popular in the western United States. In 1932, Best Foods bought the Hellmann’s brand. By then, both mayonnaises had such commanding market shares in their own half of the country that it was decided that both brands be preserved. The company is now owned by Unilever.

In the southeastern part of the United States, Mrs. Eugenia Duke of Greenville, South Carolina, founded the Duke Sandwich Company in 1917 to sell sandwiches to soldiers training at nearby Fort Sevier. Her homemade mayonnaise became so popular that her company began to focus exclusively on producing and selling the mayonnaise, eventually selling out to the C. F. Sauer Company of Richmond, Virginia, in 1929. Duke’s Mayonnaise remains a popular brand of mayonnaise in the Southeast, although it is not generally available in other markets.

In addition to an almost ubiquitous presence in American sandwiches, mayonnaise forms the basis of northern Alabama’s signature white barbecue sauce. It is also used to add stability to American-style buttercream and occasionally in cakes as well.

Most of us have encountered mayonnaise used on french fries, but it’s not something I’ve ever tried.   Making potato, macaroni or egg salad is quicker with a commercial mayo, but when I do it up right, I make my own salad dressing and it really is a much better salad.

The legend of mayonnaise as growing out of the Black Plague was one I encountered back in youth, that in order to make dressing without milk, it was whipped up by the palace chefs who wanted to avoid contact with the outside world.   I don’t guarantee it as true, but it seemed interesting at the time.  Anyone else ever heard that one, or another legend about the origins of these condiments.

(Picture courtesy of  Ben Sutherland at flickr.com.)

Tastes differ; fries with mayo

(Picture courtesy of Robin Corps at flickr.com.)

 

Mayo on sandwich

Saturday Art and Archaeology: Copán, Altar Q

By: Ruth Calvo Saturday September 6, 2014 2:35 am

 

Replica of Altar Q, outside Temple 16 at ruins

Among the treasures excavated at Copán Mayan Archaeological Site is the Altar Q that represents a lineage that has been traced from its origins to the regime in power at the time of its construction.  Each historical figure is recognizable by the glyphs that associate with him.

Altar Q is the designation given to one of the most notable of the rectangular sculpted stone blocks (dubbed “altars”) recovered at the Mesoamerican archaeological site of Copán, present-day Honduras.

Copán was a major Maya civilization center during the Classic period of Mesoamerican chronology, and Altar Q records a dynastic lineage for the Copán-based polity in the Maya script. It was created during the rule of King Yax Pac in 776. Each of the sixteen leaders of Copan are shown with a full body portrait, four on each side of the monument. It starts with Yax K’uk’ Mo’, who ruled starting in 426 AD, and extends through 763 AD, ending with Yax Pasaj Chan Yoaat.[1] Therefore, the monument’s depictions span three hundred and fifty years of time. Each ruler is seated on a glyph that represents his name. The most important part of the picture is Yax Kuk Mo handing down the insignia of reign to Yax Pac. This was a form of propaganda, intended to show that Yax Pac was just as worthy of rule as the first leader.

As with other changes of regime, the altar shows what has gone before, and represents a change that was accompanied by renewing and rebuilding of the structures of the ceremonial site.   From the excavations that have been conducted there, layer upon layer has been found that track back to the past from rebuilding that represented change.

Altar Q in Archaeological Museum at Copán

 

Inside Archaeological Museum at Copán, description of Altar Q

Over Easy

By: Ruth Calvo Thursday September 4, 2014 3:52 am

Over Easy

The community that began with Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner continues. Today we collect news from outside the usual, and renew the discussion.

The OECD has issued a report that shows continuing economic distress in advanced countries that will not diminish until job creation becomes a priority.

In its employment outlook for 2014, the Paris-based think tank predicted the rate of joblessness in member nations — a grouping of developed economies including much of Europe and the U.S. — would likely tick down over the next 18 months from 7.4 percent to 7.1 percent by the end of 2015. But even so, the lasting effects of the global financial meltdown of nearly six years ago are still being felt. “Almost 45 million people are out of work in OECD countries, 12.1 million more than just before the crisis,” the report noted.

But Stefano Scarpetta, the OECD Director for Employment, Labor and Social Affairs, pointed out that there remained “sharp differences” across member countries in their unemployment rates. For example, he pointed to the 6.2 percent unemployment rate in the U.S. recorded in July this year — the lowest level since September 2008 — and a 3.7 percent unemployment rate in Japan.

The report said that among OECD members, 16.3 million people — more than one in three of all unemployed — have been out of work for 12 months or more in the first quarter of 2014. That number, the report said, was almost twice what it was in 2007.

“Long-term unemployment has probably peaked in most countries, but it remains a major source of concern,” Scarpetta wrote in an editorial accompanying the report. “For countries that saw the biggest increases, there is growing evidence that part of what was originally a cyclical increase in unemployment has become structural and will thus be more difficult to reverse during the economic recovery.”

As peace talks began involving the Ukraine, as NATO convened in Wales,  the announced ceasefire failed to take hold and fighting continued. France’s decision to delay delivery of a contracted Mistral military ship to Russia threatens to cost that country a high price.

Vladimir Putin on Wednesday issued a seven-point peace plan for eastern Ukraine, hours after his Ukrainian counterpart said there was an agreement for a “permanent ceasefire” for the region.

But in a day of confusing mixed messages, Arseny Yatsenyuk, Ukraine’s prime minister, dismissed the peace plan, which Putin had apparently jotted down on a flight to Mongolia, calling it a trap.

On the ground there was no sign of a ceasefire. Clashes continued as both rebels and Ukrainian volunteers said they would continue fighting.

Interpol and Europol’s combined efforts have shown international food crimes are reaching an unprecedented level of occurrence.

The review of Britain’s food supply chains was announced in response to the horsemeat fraud in 2013.

Michael Ellis, assistant director of Interpol, told BBC News: “This has changed the scope of investigations. Criminals have realised that they can make the same amount of money by dealing with counterfeit food. Invariably the sentences are much lighter.

“In my experience, the patterns used by criminals involved in counterfeiting are very similar to those used in the dealing of drugs. They operate front companies, they employ front bank accounts, they will have false declarations for the movement of their goods, they will mis-declare their shipments.”

Never.Give.Up.

Sunday Food: Ketchup

By: Ruth Calvo Sunday August 31, 2014 1:46 am

 

Ketchup

(Picture courtesy of Lyons at flickr.com.)

Since we talked about mustard last week, it’s definitely time to deal with ketchup.   As I’ve mentioned, I lost my taste for ketchup some time back, and don’t use it now.   However, I’m probably in the minority there, and I do notice that the stores have at least as much ketchup on their shelves as there are mustards, with much less variety.

In the 17th century (?) the Chinese mixed a concoction of pickled fish and spices and called it (in the Amoy dialect) kôe-chiap or kê-chiap (鮭汁,Mandarin Chinese guī zhī, Cantonese gwai1 zap1) meaning the brine of pickled fish (鮭, salmon; 汁, juice) or shellfish.[6]

By the early 18th century, the table sauce had made it to the Malay states (present day Malaysia and Singapore), where it was discovered by English explorers. The Indonesian-Malay word for the sauce was kecap (pronounced “kay-chap”). That word evolved into the English word “ketchup”.[7]English settlers took ketchup with them to the American colonies.[1]

Many variations of ketchup were created, but the tomato-based version did not appear until about a century after other types. By 1801, a recipe for tomato ketchup was created by Sandy Addison and was later printed in an American cookbook, the Sugar House Book.[8]

  1. Get [the tomatoes] quite ripe on a dry day, squeeze them with your hands till reduced to a pulp, then put half a pound of fine salt to one hundred tomatoes, and boil them for two hours.
  2. Stir them to prevent burning.
  3. While hot press them through a fine sieve, with a silver spoon till nought but the skin remains, then add a little mace, 3 nutmegsallspiceclovescinnamonginger, and pepper to taste.
  4. Boil over a slow fire till quite thick, stir all the time.
  5. Bottle when cold.
  6. One hundred tomatoes will make four or five bottles and keep good for two or three years.

James Mease published another recipe in 1812. In 1824, a ketchup recipe using tomatoes appeared in The Virginia Housewife (an influential 19th-century cookbook written by Mary Randolph, Thomas Jefferson‘s cousin). American cooks also began to sweeten ketchup in the 19th century.[9]

As the century progressed, tomato ketchup began its ascent in popularity in the United States. Ketchup was popular long before fresh tomatoes were.[10] Many Americans[who?] continued to question whether it was safe to eat raw tomatoes. However, they were much less hesitant to eat tomatoes as part of a highly processed product that had been cooked and infused with vinegar and spices.[10]

Tomato ketchup was sold locally by farmers. A man named Jonas Yerks (or Yerkes) is believed[by whom?] to have been the first man to make tomato ketchup a national phenomenon. By 1837, he had produced and distributed the condiment nationally.[11] Shortly thereafter, other companies followed suit. F. & J. Heinz launched their tomato ketchup in 1876.[12] Heinz tomato ketchup was advertised: “Blessed relief for Mother and the other women in the household!”, a slogan which alluded to the lengthy and onerous process required to produce tomato ketchup in the home.[13]

The Webster’s Dictionary of 1913 defined ‘catchup’ as: “table sauce made from mushrooms, tomatoes, walnuts, etc. [Also written as ketchup].”

Modern ketchup emerged in the early years of the 20th century, out of a debate over the use of sodium benzoate as a preservative in condiments. Harvey W. Wiley, the “father” of the Food and Drug Administration in the US, challenged the safety of benzoate which was banned in the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act. In response, entrepreneurs including Henry J. Heinz, pursued an alternative recipe that eliminated the need for that preservative.[3]

Prior to Heinz (and his fellow innovators), commercial tomato ketchups of that time were watery and thin, in part due to the use of unripe tomatoes, which were low in pectin. They had less vinegar than modern ketchups; by pickling ripe tomatoes, the need for benzoate was eliminated without spoilage or degradation in flavor. But the changes driven by the desire to eliminate benzoate also produced changes[clarification needed] that some experts (such as Andrew F. Smith[14]) believe were key to the establishment of tomato ketchup as the dominant American condiment.

Ketchup has moderate health benefits.[25] Ketchup is a source of lycopene, an antioxidant which may help prevent some forms of cancer. This is particularly true of the organic brands of ketchup, which have three times as much lycopene.[26] Ketchup, much like marinara sauce and other cooked tomato foods, yields higher levels of lycopene per serving because cooking increases lycopene bioavailability.
When you squeeze the ketchup onto your burger, fries, and other food, enjoy that good tomato flavor.   I’ll have my tomatoes straight, thanks.

(Picture courtesy of Schlabotnik at flickr.com.)

Creativity with ketchup

Saturday Art and Archaeology: Copán, Rosalila

By: Ruth Calvo Saturday August 30, 2014 2:39 am

 

Rosalila

 

(Picture courtesy of Urban Sea Star at flickr.com.)

In the Mayan ceremonial center of Copán in Honduras, an ancient temple has been covered and preserved over the centuries by the builders themselves.  Nicknamed ‘Rosalila’, it was preserved as it had been constructed and is considered as a sacred temple which had the main building of the Copán center built over it.

One of the best preserved phases of Temple 16 is the Rosalila, built over the remains of five previous versions of the temple. Archaeologist Ricardo Agurcia discovered the almost intact shrine while tunneling underneath the final version of the temple. Rosalila is notable for its excellent state of preservation, including the entire building from the base platform up to the roof comb, including its highly elaborate painted stucco decoration. Rosalila features K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’ placed at the centre of a mythological tableau, combining the founder of the dynasty with the sky deityItzamna in avian form. The mythological imagery also includes anthropomorphic mountains, skeletons and crocodiles. Vents in the exterior were designed so smoke from incense being burned inside the shrine would interact with the stucco sculpture of the exterior. The temple had a hieroglyphic stone step with a dedicatory inscription. The stone step is less well preserved than the rest of the building, but a date in AD 571 has been deciphered. Due to the deforestation of the Copán valley, the Rosalila building was the last structure at the site to use such elaborate stucco decoration — vast quantities of firewood could no longer be spared to reduce limestone to plaster. A life-size copy of the Rosalila building has been built at the Copán site museum.[35]

Uaxaclajuun Ub’aah K’awiil encased the Rosalila phase under a new version of the building in the early 8th century AD. An offering was made as part of the rites to terminate the old phase and included a collection of eccentric flints worked into the profiles of humans and gods, which were wrapped in blue-dyed textiles.[78]

The structure has been moved to the archaeological museum at Copán, where it has been once again preserved for the ages.

(Picture courtesy of Adalberto H. Vega at flickr.com.)

Rosalila from second tier

Upper level of Rosalila