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Guatemalan archaeologist Mónica Pellecer Alecio (2005) takes a green stone figurine from the oldest known Maya royal tomb, dating from about 150 B.C. and.

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Presentation on theme: "Guatemalan archaeologist Mónica Pellecer Alecio (2005) takes a green stone figurine from the oldest known Maya royal tomb, dating from about 150 B.C. and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Guatemalan archaeologist Mónica Pellecer Alecio (2005) takes a green stone figurine from the oldest known Maya royal tomb, dating from about 150 B.C. and found at San Bartolo, an ancient Maya ceremonial site in Guatemala. Assisting her is San Bartolo project director William Saturno, research associate of Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

2 A detail from a sacred Maya mural at San Bartolo - the earliest known Maya painting, depicting the birth of the cosmos and the divine right of a king - shows the son of the maize god, patron of kings, floating with a pair of birds tied to his woven hunting basket and offering a sacrificed turkey before one of five cosmic trees. The 30-foot-long mural dates from around 100 B.C.

3 Stela 4, showing “Curl Nose,” from Teotihuacan, Tikal Early Classic Maya, 380AD

4 Stela 31 (King Stormy Sky), Early Classic Maya, Tikal, 445AD

5 Early Classic Maya ceramic effigy, tomb of Curl Nose, Tikal, c. 425AD. Note severed head in hands, figure sits on human femurs, smoke comes out of mouth and head spout, Possibly for ancestor worship involving sacrifice and dismemberment.

6 The Palenque Palace, Chiapas, Mexico, from the Temple of the Foliated Cross. Palenque was begun around 600 AD during the reign of King Pakal, his two sons, and Pakal’s grandson and great- grandson. It was the court residence and administrative center.

7 Palenque palace tower, probable use for astronomical and military observation. This is the only surviving Mayan tower.

8 Palenque palace interior showing corbelled labyrinthine hallways and “toilet.” (The man on the right is sitting on it.) The palace was plumbed via the stream that runs under and alongside the palace

9 Palenque palace interior passage, 7 th century, Late Classic Maya

10 Palenque palace, east court. Individual carved slabs of captives (in postures of humiliation and showing signs of blood letting) that flank a ceremonial courtyard where Lords of the region entered to meet with Pakal and kings of his line.

11 Palenque palace restored temples. Note grass roofing on the right.

12 Palenque: reconstruction of Late Classic Maya peasant house Palenque: reconstruction of a late Classic Maya peasant house

13 Palenque, Temple of Inscriptions, the Tomb of King Pakal, discovered in 1952 by Alberto Ruz, is set into bedrock at the base

14 Maya, (right) Portrait head of Pakal, Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico, AD 600- 900, Stucco, 16 7/8 x 6 11/16 in. (43 x 17 cm), Museo Nacional de Antropología, -- INAH, Mexico City. The best-known Maya Ajaw, K'inich Janaab' Pakal (Pacal the Great), who ruled from 615 to 683 AD. Stone relief of Pakal the Great, Palenque

15 Tomb of Pakal, from the Temple of the Inscriptions, now in the National Anthropology Museum, Mexico City, Mexico. Pakal's body was placed in the limestone sarcophagus and then it was sealed with a 3.8 by 2.2 meter stone lid.

16 Sarcophagus lid for Lord Pakal, Late Classic Maya – 7 th century. The scene represents the instant of Pakal's death and his fall to the Underworld. The open mouth of the Underworld (Xibalba), is carved on the bottom of the plate. The snake's skeleton make up a container that represents the entrance. The snake' lips are curved inward, as though closing over Pakal's falling body.

17 A bas-relief in the Palenque museum that depicts Upakal K'inich, the son of K'inich Ahkal Mo' Naab III, c. 700 AD

18 Copan, Honduras, (left) tomb censor, Late Classic Maya, 8 th century, one of twelve representing the eleven dynastic predecessors to the buried king Smoke Imix and the twelfth as the buried king himself. These were ritually smashed prior to the closing of the tomb. Restored by archeologists. One of 4 Copan flints representing the diety K'awiil, the spirit of the king’s scepter. How many profiles do you count?

19 Maya Jaina figurines: Jaina is a small island off the coast of Campeche State, Mexico, and into the southeast corner of the gulf. The necropolis on the island was a massive burial site from the Classic period (100-900 CE) that held many miniature terracotta figurines, each unique. Most represent rulers and nobility. While both solid and hollow figurines have been found, the latter predominate and are usually fitted with a whistle, or with clay pellets that produce a rattle-like sound. Like the figurines themselves, it is not known what function(s) the whistles and rattles served.


21 Large numbers of Jaina figurines, considered the finest figurative clay sculptures in the ancient Americas, were found in all inland Maya sites

22 Jaina figurine, Late Classic Maya


24 Maya Murals at Bonampak' (on border of Chiapas, Mexico, and Guatemala). The largest and most complete set of murals of ancient Mesoamerica preserved today. The inner walls of the house's three rooms, up to their arched ceilings, were entirely painted with glyphs and narrative events. This scene records the ascension of a new king in 790 CE, his reception by Mayan lords. Photos are from the complete replica at the National Museum of Anthropology and History in Mexico City

25 Maya Murals at Bonampak – dedication of building

26 Musicians and dancers performing at the dedication of the building

27 Battle scene in which lords of Bonampak demonstrate their military prowess

28 Treatment of war prisoners Bonampak murals

29 Maya Bonampak mural, Noblewomen practicing bloodletting ritual by piercing tongue or lips

30 MOCHE CULTURE Northern Coastal Peru, c. 100 C.E to 800 C.E

31 Moche stirrup spout portrait vessel, (detail) unidentified artist, painted and slipped earthenware, 11 ½ “H. c.450 CE

32 (right) Peruvian, Moche, Male Effigy Vessel, unidentified artist, painted earthenware, 9 7/16 in H, A.D. 100-600 Compare (left) self-portrait mug by Paul Gauguin, c. 1889

33 Moche, Portraits of “Cut Lip” (L-R) at about 10 yrs, early 20s, and middle 30s ceramic, c. 300 CE

34 Moche, Portraits of Bigote, head (right) and full body as warrior (left) ceramic, 430 CE

35 Moche (left) Man with a Flower Headdress, painted earthenware, 10” H, 100-600 CE (right) Stirrup Head Vessel, painted earthenware c 12” H, 100-600 CE

36 Moche, Male Effigy Vessel (stirrup missing), unidentified artist, painted earthenware 4 in H, A.C. 100-600


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