>We need to stop thinking that the conquest was the worst thing that ever happened to these local people
Unfortunately it is rather difficult to make such a comparison, as the conquistadors eliminated so many of the written artifacts along with those who could read them, that we now do not have enough surviving examples or remaining knowledge to currently decipher the contents of what little remains.
It's a juicy counter-narrative quote. But, even in this excerpt, Rosario Inés Granados didn't say that the conquest wasn't the worst thing to happen to indigenous peoples. Quite the contrary, she asks us to think differently about it, "She says the maps demonstrate that the indigenous groups that lived in Mexico were more than just fodder for genocide."
With her exhibition, Dr. Granados is trying to focus our attention on agency: the clever, if not subversive, acts of hybridization that locals used to preserve their heritage while under the thumb of foreign invaders. Creating maps and other works of art that passed the sniff test of the Spaniards, yet, in a parallel narrative, spoke to a subjugated indigenous audience. "Maps show us not only what is where and how to get there, but also who we were — and perhaps, who we're going to be."
What's Rosario Granados has to say on Hitler & Napoleon?
List some worst things happened in history.
The Teozacoalco map strikes me as created by someone who understood the idea of a round Earth. Notice the orientation of the drawn characters on the surface. Did they have this notion already? Certainly the ship navigators would have.
Of course they did. For some reason in today's popular culture, we have this strange idea that the common knowledge that the Earth was round, only came to be after the 16th century.
That's totally wrong, common people knew the Earth was round for 2 millennia in the old world.
In the new world, surely the Maia knew it as well given their extremely advanced astronomical knowledge for the time. Incan astronomy, although not as advanced, was still quite sophisticated, they surely understood moon ecplipses well enough to get that the Earth was round.