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LibreOrganize 0.6.0 - Documentation


Artist/Activist Vicky Hamlin is a retired tradeswoman, shop steward, and painter. In her painting and in this column, she shines the light on the lives of working people and the world they live in.

A couple of news stories appeared this year about archeological discoveries dating from about 250-900 CE in the Central Maya Lowlands of the Yucatán peninsula.


At Ocomtún, in the state of Campeche, researchers found multiple pyramids almost 50 feet high, a ball court, three main squares, side courtyards, a road, a rectangular acropolis, and more.  Rock and earth formed and carved by hand, growing out of the soil, became a city.

Another discovery was made of stela from an ancient Maya city founded around A.D. 700 in the eastern Yucatán Peninsula. “Sculpture” doesn’t begin to describe this stela. Apparently, it is thought to represent gods and goddesses, life and death a reflection of a society’s beliefs.

Other ancient sites I have visited seem to have this same quality of organic growth, of not fighting against the planet but emerging from it. This theme of organic growth seems evident throughout these ancient cultures and their remaining archaeology.

These finds are from civilizations that rose and fell over thousands of years. The solid, stable, carefully carved rock formations were developed in a world that had time to develop, that expressed itself in an indigenous form, using indigenous materials.

“Art” was born out of the use of a thing utilitarian, spiritual, or social. These beautiful objects, like architecture or devotional pieces, grew out of their environment. “Art” was not a separate category of “product” designed to be bought and sold, but an intrinsic, natural expression of social life organic growth from the earth, as well as organic growth out of civil society.

This has made me think about long history. Our stories can reflect inaccurate, racist (white), often expropriated notions about who is entitled to what version of history in what place. North Americans will have a different POV than South Americans. At only a few hundred years old, USA society is so young, and cruelly, artificially imposed.

This window into such an ancient culture felt like a revelation. If only we could reimagine our best, fully developed selves, oh what a world we might be!