Monte Alban – Are The Danzantes Evidence of an Epidemic?

Fig 0276 – Danzante of a Pregnant Woman

Thought to date from 500 B.C, this is the most popularly discussed and easily found image of a Danzante. It has a number of notable features: one of the first forms of writing in the top right, on the chest and between the legs; the deformed hands, suggesting mutilation or perhaps mutation; the curious symbolism around the genital area; the strange foetus and a clear link between the artwork of the Olmec, the settlement at San Jose Mogote and Monte Alban. © Robin Heyworth, taken on 27th December 2001