Posted by Inby from ? (18.104.22.168) on Saturday, November 08, 2003 at 5:53pm :
I'd just like to clarify some misapprehensions about that golden idol in 'Raiders'. This appeared recently on the Club Obi-Wan message board: "Actually Obal1, that's not an Aztec idol. According to the DVD, the golden idol was based on an Inca idol".
I suggest that the prop design was based on an Aztec figurine of the goddess Tlazoteotl, A.D. late 15th early 16th C. The figurine is made of aplite with garnet inclusions; height 8" (20.2 cm); width 4 3/4" (12 cm); 'depth' 5 7/8" (14.9 cm). The figurine is on display and available for free public viewing at a museum gallery in Washington DC.
While Indy was supposed to be in South America to retrieve the idol, and certain architectural motifs inside the temple are direct copies of pieces of precolumbian Andean sculpture, the scene was not intended to depict an archaeological or cultural reality. In other words, you can read whatever you want into the scene and storyline at this point in the movie. The prop, however, is clearly based on the above figurine, regardless of whatever passing remark is heard in a movie commentary. The person that supposed the prop to be based on South American sculpture was mistaken. Mexico=Aztecs, South America=Inca (and many others). Don't make me get out the maps here people.
So while other people worry about the screen-accuracy of hatbands, and pleats, and whatever, facts about the other stuff should not be dismissed or misapprehensions left uncorrected. If Indygear was a free and open community, then I could have corrected the error there. But Micah is a kind and tolerant soul, and I feel a certain loyalty to this forum, so I do it here.
Some might ask why I care. Well, frankly, it just bugs me that so much attention is lavished on hatbands and such while the complexities behind other, more interesting thing are neglected.
Much of the stuff on that gear site about the various artifacts is ok, and providing it makes that site more interesting. So anyway, back to watching your dvds, people. But don't base your dissertation on them without checking the facts.
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