Spider Grandmother and Other Avatars of the Moon Goddess in New World Sacred Architecture (Journal of the Southwest, Vol. 54, No.2, 2012)
Spider Grandmother extends Schuetz-Miller’s study of the symbolism embedded in sacred architecture – set forth in Abodes for the Gods, The Symbolism of Ancient Sacred Architecture in Eurasia and Abodes for the Gods. The Symbolism of Sacred Architecture in the Indo-Pacific – into the New World. It examines both monumental sites, including the builders’ use of pre-Euclidean geometry, and those of less advanced societies to enhance our understanding of how indigenous peoples viewed their sacred complexes. The study furthermore presents evidence for building guilds organized among the great civilizations of the Americas and anomalous architecture which may have been influenced by Asiatic contact. Purchase a copy.
Five of the newest books by the author:
(November 2013) Selected Drawings from the Publications of Mardith Schuetz-Miller
142 Selected drawings from publications including all her books as well as from works published in The Journal of the Southwest. This is a Large Format Hardcover book, 13 x 11 inches.
Retrieving Tribal Memory:
Mantids, Ungulates as Symbols of Death and Resurrection, Shamanism, and DNA
(Blue Oaks Arts, 2012)
For generations, scholars of religion and mythology have been puzzled at finding the same, or similar, stories by various ethnic groups of both the Old and New World. Common denominators of the tales are a nebulous-like Oneness before the world was created, the separation of Earth and Heaven, an incest, siblings of opposite disposition, and the flood that destroyed a first world. Retrieving Tribal Memory relies on the oral traditions and ceremonialism of primitive peoples studied by ethnographers, “natural histories”written by early historians, and evidence of archaeologists and archeo-astronomers to demonstrate that all those universal themes belong to an epic creation cycle whose origin can be traced to our common Paleolithic Out-of-Africa ancestors.
The common motifs of the creation cycle are first traced among hunter/gatherer peoples stretching across the Old World from the Bushmen of South Africa to various ethnic groups in Sahulland, the continent that initially embraced New Guinea, Australia, and Tasmania. These are“relic” populations whose genetic make-up is most closely related to our common Out-of-Africa ancestors. The themes are then followed into literate societies where vestiges of the old beliefs and world views are still to be found.
While the themes of the creation cycle are common, the forms of the players differ. The players can be understood as avatars of the creating spirit and appear as various animals or plants that sustain life, or sometimes even inanimate objects. Therefore their forms differ from one geographic region to another according to the fauna and flora. This enables us to posit variations in the principals with DNA evidence of population dispersal. In other words, it allows us to trace the route, or routes, by which the fish, insect, reptile, bird, mammal or the plant avatar of the creator spread across Eurasia and the Americas. Purchase a Copy
Abodes for the Gods. The Symbolism of Sacred Architecture in the Indo-Pacific (Blue Oaks Arts, 2011) This book continues the story of its companion volume Abodes for the God. The Symbolism of Ancient Sacred Architecture in Eurasia in interpreting the diverse forms of sacred architecture by examining the world-views, religious beliefs, and rituals of the cultures that built them. The study employs a multi-disciplinary approach: local mythologies, historical records of European explorers, archaeological findings, linguistic data, works of art, archaeo-astronomy, and biology. The book first examines both the Megalithic Culture and non-megalithic building practices of Southeast Asia and Indonesia - the origins of Oceanic settlers, and Melanesia. It takes up the types of sacred construction in Micronesia and Polynesia, following the order of their colonization. Due to their long distance and isolation from the great Asiatic civilizations, native practices associated with sacred endeavors persisted into the modern age and provide a rare insight into the world-view of their pre-literate societies. The link between house and boat construction as sacred undertakings, the existence of carpenters’ guilds, and the high status of carpenters revealed in this study substantiate the data on early civilization presented in The Empire Builders. A Socio-Economic Study of Architects and Building Artisans from the Neolithic to the Renaissance. The division of the Hawaiian year into two culturally different seasons under the aegis of gods of differing natures is examined in detail to demonstrate an Indian origin (or a common origin for both) for one half the year and a late imperialistic development for the other. Other cultural traits from western civilizations that continued to be introduced into the Indo-Pacific through maritime trade and pre-European exploration are proposed and a final chapter looks at possible late contact between Pacific islanders and the New World. Buy Now
The Empire Builders. A Socio-Economic History of Architects and Building Artisans from the Neolithic to the Renaissance (Blue Oaks Arts, 2011) is a comparative study of the men who literally built the monumental architecture of Eurasia’s diverse civilizations up until modern times. Synthesizing data from many disciplines (ancient history and law, hieroglyphic and cuneiform texts, mythology, archaeology, guild records, literature, geophysics, and climatology) the building craftsmen are identified; their training, guild organizations, and construction rites described; and their status and life style examined. As a sequel to Pre-Euclidean Geometry and the Design of Mission Churches of the Spanish Borderlands (Special Issue, Journal of the Southwest, 2006) and Abodes for the Gods. The Symbolism of Ancient Sacred Architecture in Eurasia, it answers more fully how the knowledge of the sacred geometry was transmitted through the millennia. This book is heavily illustrated and annotated. Buy Now
Abodes for the Gods. The Symbolism of Ancient Sacred Architecture in Eurasia (Blue Oaks Arts, 2011) interprets the diverse forms of sacred architecture by examining the world-views, religious beliefs, and rituals of the cultures that built them. The study employs a multi-disciplinary approach: historical records, religious texts, archaeological findings, linguistic data, works of art, archaeo-astronomy, mathematical development, biology, and ancient sailing records. Perhaps most important is the demonstration that the pre-Euclidean geometry traced in Pre-Euclidean Geometry in the Design of Mission Churches of the Spanish Borderlands was in use by the Neolithic period, as shown in megalithic sites of England and the Mediterranean, Egyptian pyramids and rock-cut tombs, and the temples and temple complexes of Mesopotamia, Persia, India, and Southeast Asia. Buy Now
Mardith Schuetz-Miller, an anthropologist and award-winning historian, has written extensively on the archaeology and ethno-history of Spanish sites in Texas and Guam, Spanish military history in Texas, and Spanish Colonial architecture. Among her many publications are San Antonio in the Eighteenth Century (co-author), The Practice of Architecture in Mexico City, Building and Builders in Hispanic California, 1769-1850, Guide to the Pimería Alta. Missions and More (co-editor and author), and Pre-Euclidean Geometry in the Design of Mission Churches of the Spanish Borderlands.
The author typically employs an interdisciplinary approach, using such sources as historical records, religious texts, literature, archaeological findings, linguistic data, works of art, archaeoastronomy, mathematical development, biology, ancient law, and sailing records. Click here for a list of thematic headings and works addressing those subjects.