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Has anyone ever studied the link in imagery of the Vision Serpent with other images of the Serpent in world religion and culture eg the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, Chinese Dragons, the Kundilini, the Caduceus, the Oroborous etc? Could be fascinating. ThePeg 17.04pm 22.06.06
Yes, there have been a number of (reputable) studies published which have compared the iconography and decorative motifs found in Maya art and inscriptions with those from other (non-Mesoamerican) civilizations and cultures. See for example many of the papers in Vol. IV ("Archaeological Frontiers and External Connections") of the Handbook of Middle American Indians series- although first published in the 1960s this compendium remains one of the more comprehensive assemblages of Mesoamerica scholarship. See also in particular the papers by Heine-Geldern in this direction, in which he identifies similarities in imagery (including 'vision serpents' and a supposed 'lotus' decorative element) with the imagery of certain South and Southeast Asian and Chinese inscriptions. However, it should be noted that any such similarities recognised are held by almost all Mesoamerica scholars to be coincidental and stylistic, and not evidence (or not sufficient evidence) of there having been any direct contact or influence between Mesoamerica and Asia (or Mesoamerica and anywhere else).
There are also a number of 'less-reputable' publications and claims to have found stylistic influences from beyond the Americas- these (eg Winters, Hancock) are in the main held to be "fringe alternative" speculation and are not seriously entertained.--cjllw | TALK 23:56, 25 June 2006 (UTC)