Mayan sculpture images

Mayan sculpture images DEFAULT

Overview of Mayan Art


The 700 years of the Mayan Classical saw a great flowering of Mayan art. Stone carvings became ubiquitous throughout the Mayan region. The Mayan covered buildings and pyramid stairways with depictions of rulers and hieroglyphic writings. They also created thousands of stone stelae, great slabs of limestone carved into images of kings and nobility and covered with writings describing their lineages and deeds of valor.

The Mayan Classical age reveals an abundance of energetic artworks in stone, shells, bone, wood, obsidian, jade, silver, clay, stucco, textiles and precious metals. Gold and silver were never abundant in Mayan regions, so artists mainly forged gold and silver into jewelry. Elite Mayans, the rulers and nobility, commissioned works of art in order to establish their status as elites. Painted vessels, stucco portraits, carved obsidian mirrors and tiny clay figurines all turn up in the tombs of nobles and kings. While kings commissioned great works of art for public viewing such as statues, stelae and temple murals, nobles more often bought smaller, exquisite art works for personal adornment and home decoration.



The artists and artisans creating these works came from every level of society. Many were elites themselves, the sons and daughters of rulers and government officials. Others were commoners whose talents and artistic genius led them to their crafts. For some Mayans, their art or craft was a family business, where every member of the family had a role. Mayan ceramic workers, potters and figurine makers, expressed individual talents in their work, even signing their finished products. An individual artist’s works occasionally drew the attention of the nobility, and elites competed to obtain those particular creations.

While most Mayan textiles have not survived the ages, bas relief, statues and murals show examples of the textile artisans’ work. Mayan women were the main textile workers, weaving and dyeing the fabrics—cotton, maguey cloth or woolens—then embroidering or otherwise embellishing the cloth. While Mayan clothing was generally simple, clothing decorations were not. Woven tapestries and brocades decorated homes as curtains, drapes and floor coverings. Mayan communities had their own textile design that women would weave into the cloth produced there.

Mesoamerica’s humid climate ravaged paints as well as textiles, but many examples of Mayan paintings survived in Mayan cities in the homes of the elite. Walls, ceilings, temple arches and caves are covered in murals depicting the gods, elites or even scenes from daily life. Red and black are the most common colors of paint, but yellow and especially Maya blue can still be found. The bright turquoise Maya blue color was unique to the Maya, who invented the technique of making the color.

From the great public stone works to the tiny molded figurines depicting humans, animals or mythic creatures, the Mayan Classical era produced a huge variety of artworks. Regional styles in ceramics or textiles were traded throughout the Mayan region. Some Mayan cities reveal the influence of other Mesoamerican cultures such as the Toltec or Teotihuacan. Nevertheless, all the artworks of this exuberant culture are distinctly Mayan.

This article is part of our larger resource on the Mayans culture, society, economics, and warfare. Click here for our comprehensive article on the Mayans.

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"Overview of Mayan Art" History on the Net
© 2000-2021, Salem Media.
October 13, 2021 <>
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Aztec Mayan Inca Art Reproductions

The art of Central and South America from 1800 BC to 1500 AD, prior to the arrival of European colonizers, is genially called Pre-Columbian Art. The Olmec civilization flourished around 1200–400 BC. The Olmecs produced jade figurines, and created heavy-featured, colossal heads, up to 2 meters (8 ft) high, that still stand mysteriously in the landscape. From ca. 200–900 AD the dominant culture was the Maya. The Maya had advanced astronomy and their own forms of hieroglyphic writing. Mayan art utilized glyphs and stylized figures decorate architecture such as the pyramid temple of Chichén Itzá. During a long reign of Pacal the Great (603-683) the Maya polity of Palenque saw the construction or extension of some of most notable surviving inscriptions and monumental architecture. The Post-classic period (10th–12th centuries) was dominated by the Toltecs who made colossal, block-like sculptures such as those employed as free-standing columns at Tula, Mexico. The Aztec people of central Mexico dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th-16th centuries. The Aztec culture produced some dramatically expressive examples of Aztec art, such as the decorated skulls of captives and stone sculpture. Among the cultural traits that the Aztecs of Tenochtitlan shared with many other cultures of central Mexico are the complex religious beliefs and practices including most of the pantheon (e.g. gods such as Tezcatlipoca, Tlaloc and Quetzalcoatl), the calendar system of a xiuhpohualli of 365 days intercalated with a tonalpohualli of 260 days. In South America, at the time of the Spanish conquest the Inca Empire was the largest and wealthiest empire as depicted in their art. The Inca valued gold among all other metals, and equated it with the sun god Inti. Some Inca buildings in the capital of Cusco were literally covered in gold, and most contained many gold and silver sculptures. It is a cultural tragedy that most Inca sculpture was melted down by the invading Spanish.

Aztec Mayan Inca Art Reproductions
8 Interesting Facts About Mayan Civilization

Ancient Mayan Civilization Art & Culture

Mayan glyphs

New Interest in Mayan Art and Culture

The end of the Mayan calendar in 2012 has brought a renewed interest in Mayan history, culture, art, and architecture. Several movies (2012., Apocalypto., and others) have covered the Mayan and their calendar as a prophetic harbinger of the end of the world.

Various conspiracy theories about Mayan prophesies have arisen such as the coming of the Antichrist, Planet X slamming into earth, a cataclysmic pole shift, and aliens landing on our planet to re-inhabit the earth [1]

In reality, the Mayans probably didn't intend the end of this period of time to declare the end of the world. They figured their ancestors would simply create a new one for the next age to come. Most the current Mayan ancestors say it is simply the end of an era. Because the Mayans of that time no longer exist, we will never know for sure. The continuation of the world after December of 2012 has proven even to skeptics that the doomsday conspiracy theories were not true. In the meantime, we enjoy the intrigue and mystery of the Mayan culture.


The pyramid shape can be seen in a variety of structures including this archway in Ek Balam.

Brief History

The Mayan civilization covered parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, and El Salvador. There are conflicting dates on the existence of the Mayans. Wikipedia says their civilization existed from 2000 BC to 250 AD.[1] Authentic Maya says they existed between 3000 and 2000 BC. to 900 A.D.[2] Part of the conflict arises with differences in opinion of exactly what point a group of people are large enough to be considered a civilization.

Known cities of the ancient Mayan civilization include Tikal, Copán, Palenque, Cancuén, Uxmal, Kabah, Tulum, Sayil and Labná. It is important to note that these are not the original names of the cities. They were named by those who discovered the ancient ruins of each city. Mayans were ruled by kings and the Maya Court. Each Mayan city has its own unique form of art. Most of the cities incorporates some form of pyramid, whether it be a pyramid shaped doorway or an actual pyramid. Because the Mayan were an advanced civilization and were quite good at mathematics, art, and astronomy, we see glyphs and Maya numerals in many of the buildings. We see geometry included in the layout of each city and shape of buildings in quadrangles, rectangles, triangles, and squares. One way astronomy was used is that "astronomical observations and measurements led to the development of the Maya calendar, a system more precise than the Gregorian calendar we use today." [3] Chocolate was considered a delicacy and cocoa beans were used as money.

The destruction of the Mayan civilization was a gradual process that began around 800 A.D. Archeology in the fallen Mayan city of Copán shows that the Mayans over-cultivated their farmland and suffered from malnutrition. Buried skulls indicated severe anemia in 80% of all those that were found, including royalty. [4] No doubt this malnutrition also brought about disease. In other cities such as Cancuén there is evidence of attacks by a variety of invaders who spared no lives before they looted the area. To make matters worse, they poisoned the water supply by burying the bodies in the city cistern. Tikal was the last to fall as best we can determine now. Scholars are unsure what caused this area to collapse. [5] Some think that overpopulation and drought contributed to the decline. It is important to note that Mayans did not disappear after the collapse. The remaining Mayans spread out over a larger area in small communities and can still be found today among various South and Central American people.

stucco of

Beautiful stucco work on a wall at Ek Balam.

The Art of the Mayans

old mayan paintingArchaeologists have unearthed the oldest known Maya painting in Guatemala, a brightly colored 30-foot-long mural depicting the Maya creation myth and the coronation of the Maya's first earthly king. (See image on the left. Click on image for full size) The paint-on-plaster image, 3 feet tall and nearly 2,100 years old, is several centuries older than other depictions of the creation story. The mural was discovered at the remote site of San Bartolo, about two days' hike north of the once-powerful Maya city of Tikal.

The painting shows a surprisingly early flowering of the Maya civilization, well before the classical period that began after A.D. 250. "The first part of the mural illustrates the Maya creation story. Four deities represent the creation of water, land, sky and paradise. At the center, the maize god crowns himself king. Archaeologists said they were having trouble deciphering the glyphs of the much earlier Mayan script." [6]

Like Egyptian hieroglyphics, we have not only Mayan glyphs in stone, but also various texts. Below you see one of the few collections of pre-Columbian Mayan hieroglyphic texts known to have survived the book burnings by the Spanish clergy during the 16th century. There are only three other codices, the Madrid, Paris, and Grolier. The codex below, the Dresden Codex, contains astronomical calculations, and astronomical data. As you can see, these hieroglyphics are an art form into themselves.


Mayans create words using a Syllabary, not an Alphabet. Words and phrases are created using bold brush strokes. Narrative paintings are used throughout the codices and become phrases themselves. Maya words are formed from various combinations of nearly 800 signs, and each sign represents a full syllable. If you want to study Maya hieroglyphics in detail, download the study guide by Inga Calvin.

The Maya also valued sculpture not only as an art form, but also as a reflection of themselves, their lifestyles, and culture. Their sculpture was created from carvings in wood, Obsidian, bone, shells, Jade and stone, clay and stucco models, and terracotta figurines from molds. They used their sculpture in trade as well as decoration.


Ornate relief sculptures by the stairs up the pyramid in Teotihuacan.

A common form of Maya sculpture was the stela. "The Maya somehow transported enormous stones through the jungle from distant quarries, apparently without the aid of either wheeled carts or beasts of burden. Artists then used only rudimentary stone tools to execute the intricate carvings, before raising the ponderous sculptures to their present vertical positions. mayan headThe largest in the Maya world is Stela E at Quiriguá, that weighs an astonishing 65 tons and stretches 10.5 meters in length, with sculptures covering its 8-meter panels. The Stelas were large stone slabs covered with carvings. Many depict the rulers of the cities they were located in, and others show gods. The Stela almost always contained hieroglyphs, which have been critical to determining the significance and history of Maya sites. Other stone carvings include figurines, and stone or wooden lintels (Right), known only from Tikal and El Zotz, with different scenes. The Maya used a great deal of Jade and Obsidian in their art. Many stone carvings had jade inlays, and there were also ritual objects created from jade. It is remarkable that the Maya, who had no metal tools, created such intricate and beautiful objects from jade, a very hard and dense material. In a workshop of Maya sculpture, the subject matter had to conform to local tradition; elements of style such as viewpoint of the figures, gesture, depth of relief, and the treatment of faces had to be recognizable as local art, and the artists observed the specific regalia worn by rulers. Subject matter and style were bound by tradition. The earliest Stela-Altar monuments, were plain, such as in Monte Alto in the Pacific Lowlands, the site of the Famous early Preclassic "Fat Boys" or Barrigones, and home to a Giant Head unique in Mesoamerica, now vanished." [7]

cacaxtla mural

Mural in basement at Cacaxtla. Notice that the color red is the dominant color used in this mural.

A Maya painter was called ah tz'ibob ('they who paint'). They were also master calligraphers and signed their work. The ah tz'ibob were highly valued members of society. Lesser valued were those who painted in caves or used simple graffiti. The most typical colors found in caves were black and red. The black color was derived from charcoal and manganese. The red color came from iron-rich clays found in the caves themselves. The Maya words tz'ib or tz'ib'al refers to painting in general. [8]

Due to the humid climate of Central America, few Mayan paintings have survived to the present day. A beautiful turquoise blue color, Maya Blue, has survived through the centuries due to its unique chemical characteristics.

Today, oil paintings by the Maya people of Guatemala are usually painted in the "naif" style. Two regional styles exist, based primarily on the name of the village in which the style of painting originated. One style region centers around the small villages on the south side of Lake Atitlan. These painters are primarily of Tzutujil Maya origin. Their paintings tend to be of a bright and colorful style, using a palette of primary colors. A second style region centers around the Cakchiquel Maya town of Comalapa. These paintings often have a more subdued palette of colors, with more emphasis on tans and browns.

Mayan Games

mayan board game

The board, used in ancient times to play a game known as patolli, was discovered at the archaeological site of Dzibilnocac in Campeche, during restoration work conducted in the Central Tower Building A1 [Credit: Herbert Ortega/INAH]

Archaeologists carrying out restoration at a site in the southeastern state of Campeche discovered a Mayan game board dating from more than 1,000 years ago, Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History said. 

A member of the team that found the artifact, Heber Ojeda, estimates the board was used between the 7th and 10th centuries during the Late Classic period of Dzibilnocac. 

"It is an esgraffito scoreboard of approximately 50 cm on each side, which was discovered on the floor of the second highest space" in the building denoted A1, the archaeologist said. 

Etched into the surface of the board are 58 rectangles of varying sizes and players would have used beans as game tokens, Ojeda said. 

One of his colleagues, Judith Gallegos Gomora, said the board was designed for patolli, a game of chance described in Mayan codices and colonial Spanish chronicles. 

She added, however, that the board bears a resemblance to the Maya quincunx, a schematic representation of the universe, and would likely also have been used for divination.  [9]

New Discoveries

On May 10, 2012, the oldest known Mayan painting, calendar and astronomical tables, was discovered in a shallow cave in Guatemala. Scientists say it dates from early 9th Century, pre-dating other Mayan calendars by centuries. The find is located at the ruins of Xultun that were first discovered in 1912. [10]

Art Lessons on IAD Involving the Mayans

  • Story Pots - Ceramic hand-building lesson in pre-Columbian flavor at the Middle / High School level.

  • Art of Mexico - A collection of lesson ideas at different age levels including Mayan Glyphs.

ah cacau in Tikel

Monument to Ah Cacau in Tikal, more than likely the last Mayan city in existence.



These links were reviewed and selected as among the best Mayan links that will be useful in an educational setting. Links always change and if you find that one is dead or goes to an inappropriate site, let us know.

  • Arte Maya Tz'utuhil - Contemporary textiles, essays, and oil painting of the Maya today.

  • Authentic Maya - This site includes many resources including their art, medicine, chocolate, and economy.

  • Cagle - Maya 2012 - A collection of political cartoons relating to the Maya and 2012.

  • Classic Maya - This page serves as a gateway to scholarly sources relating to the Classic-period Maya civilization.

  • Collapse of Copán - This is an interactive site geared toward students who learn about why a Mayan civilization collapsed.

  • Images of the Maya - Exhibit from the Florida Museum of Natural History. Of particular interest is their page on Symbols in Mayan Textiles.

  • Maya Adventure - The Science Museum of Minnesota presents Maya Adventure, a World-Wide Web site that highlights science activities and information related to ancient and modern Maya culture.

  • Maya Archaeology - This site is loaded with resources and free downloads. Information on Mayan ethnobotany and ethnozoology, iconography, ceramics, architecture, and epigraphy. Of special interest are the 3D views of the Copan Museum in Honduras.

  • Mayan Architecture [Archive] - Archaeologists have identified several Mayan architectural styles that help them place the Maya geographically as well as temporally.

  • Mayan Arithmatic - This site includes three pages of Mayan arithmatic discoveries and systems. Place values, symbol for zero, and addition are included.

  • Mayan Art and Architecture - A curriculum page by Carlisle Public Schools. The Maya were one of the few civilizations where artists attached their name to their work.

  • Maya Art Collection - from Jay Kislak Foundation (5 pages of images). Ceramics, stone and more. Great figurative pieces.

  • Maya Calendar - This site has information on their calendar and their use of mathematics.

  • Maya Civilization - This site by Crystalinks has a lot of information of Mesoamerica.

  • Maya Initiative - This is Getty's Conservation Institute that includes many images of their architecture as well as conservation projects to save ancient artifacts and buildings.

  • Mayan Symbols - This page is useful when incorporating Mayan symbols into art work.

  • The Maya - This site includes information on their gods, agriculture, diet, and architecture.

  • Mayan Ceramics [Archive] - With pictures of Mayan ceramics that portray deities, ball games and other events of Mayan life.

  • Maya Civilization - This site is by the Canadian Museum of Civilization. It includes sections on architecture, sculpture, and landscape. Although many of the images are small, you get a good idea of the breadth of Mayan heritage. See also their fantastic Mayan exhibit and Mystery of the Maya.

  • Mayan Civilization - This is hosted by, a Native American website. The page includes a nice summary of the culture and art.

  • Maya Civilization, Past and Present - This site is one of the first Mayan sites on the internet. It includes sections on culture, language, numbers, maps, environment, curriculum and science.

  • The Mayan Civilization and Cities - This site includes the research of Luis Dumois, a student of the Maya, their history, culture and artifacts.

  • The Mayan Creation Story [Archive] - The Real Time player portion of this page no longer works on the Internet Archive but you can still read the stories.

  • Mayan Folktales - These tales were told by a famous Q'anjob'al storyteller from San Miguel Acátan, Huehuetenango, Guatemala.

  • Mayan Gods and Mythology (Archive) - This site has a comprehensive alphabitized list of the Mayan gods and a description of each. Also see their Xibalba of the Maya page (Archive).

  • The Mayas - This page includes Mayan literature, poems, books, and stories.

  • The Mayas [Archive] - This site has more cultural information on economy, agriculture, religion and images.

  • Mesa Community College's Mayan Page - This includes a brief history, timelines, and other information. See also this page. See also their Mayan prehistory section. The archive of their page that discuss information such as their ball games and sacrifice is found here (Archive).

  • Mesoamerican Archives [Archive] - This site was created by David R. Hixson, a graduate student in Tulane University's Department of Anthropology. It has hundreds of high quality images useful to teachers.

  • National Geographic - This comprehensive site has numerous sections on the Maya including the Mayan Mystery (Archive), Rediscovery of Ancient Maya Sites, Yucatán's Mysterious Hill Cities, Quiz Your Moodle on Maya, Maya Rise and Fall, Descent into the Maya Underworld, Maya Gods and Kings, Maya Underworld, and Maya Codex.

  • Palenque Archaeological Ruins - Palenque, located in the northwest of the Maya lowlands, is considered as one of the most important archaeological sites of Mesoamerica. As in other Maya areas, here there was a vigorous development in religious and civil architecture, as well as in art and crafts.

  • The Sport of Life and Death, The Mesoamerican Ball Game - This site is great for your more kinesthetic learners. It includes an interactive look at the Mayan ball game and details such as the uniform they wore and the rules of the game. It also includes a video re-enactment of the game.

  • Yucatán Peninsula - This site by Barbara McKenzie includes images of ancient Mayan ruins in the area. You can navigate through an interactive map.


  • Maya: The Blood of Kings [VHS]. - This 48 minute video is part of the Time-Life Lost Civilizations TV series, with Sam Waterson narrating. It uses video of actual locations, some with reenactors depicting the scenes from Maya life, as well as some computer generations; all put together is a very professional, entertaining way. Says teacher Craig Savery, "There is coverage of the ball game, blood-letting rituals, the Maya writing system and calendar as well as the central role of kingship to Maya society. The video does not make the mistake of stating that the Maya collapsed. It is accurately illustrated that although there was perhaps a regional collapse."

  • Apocalypto [Blu-ray]. - This movie is probably not appropriate for most students. Teacher discretion advised. This intense, nonstop action-adventure transports you to an ancient South American civilization, for an experience unlike anything you've ever known. In the twilight of the mysterious Mayan culture, young Jaguar Paw is captured and taken to the great Mayan city where he faces a harrowing end. Driven by the power of his love for his wife and son, he makes an adrenaline-soaked, heart-racing escape to rescue them and ultimately save his way of life. Filled with unrelenting action and stunning cinematography, Apocalypto is an enthralling and unforgettable film experience.

    Although much of the movie is fiction, it is based on facts gleaned from archaeology and study. In the movie, the Jaguar is shown as one of their gods. A group of Mayans believe that disaster will befall them for killing a jaguar. You can read a little about the Mayans and Jaguars. The movie shows Mel Gibson's interpretation of the decline of the Mayan empire. The film has authentic Yucatec Maya spoken throughout the movie, although most of it is spoken by Native American actors. Although Spaniards arrive at the end of the movie, in reality all the Mayan cities were abandoned by the time they arrived. You can read National Geographics' take on the authenticity (or the lack of) in Gibson's movie. (Also see portions of the movie with commentary) It includes some important additional facts about the Mayans.

  • National Geographic's Lost Kingdoms of the Maya. [Also on VHS]. - According to teacher Beeman Rhodes, "I have seen some educational videos on the Maya, but I believe this is the best one I have come across so far. I was looking for a good educational video on the Maya to prepare a group trip to Honduras. We did an excursion to Copan, and the knowledge from this tape enhanced our experience. Compared to other videos about the Maya, this video was the best in the story telling of the history of the Maya and today's exploration with archaeologists I have been to other Mayan ruins as well, and I am still in awe of their lives and culture. If you plan on going to Copan or any of the other ruins, definitely this would be a good video to check out."



Images mayan sculpture

Ancient Maya art

Ancient Mayan art is about the material arts of the Mayan civilization, an eastern and south-eastern Mesoamerican culture shared by a great number of lost kingdoms in present-day Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras. Many regional artistic traditions existed side by side, usually coinciding with the changing boundaries of Maya polities. This civilization took shape in the course of the later Preclassic Period (from c. 750 BC to 100 BC), when the first cities and monumental architecture started to develop and the hieroglyphic script came into being. Its greatest artistic flowering occurred during the seven centuries of the Classic Period (c. 250 to 950 CE).

Mayan art forms tend to be more stiffly organized during the Early Classic (250-550 CE) and to become more expressive during the Late Classic phase (550-950 CE). In the course of history, influences of various other Mesoamerican cultures were absorbed. In the late Preclassic, the influence of the Olmec style is still discernible (as in the San Bartolo murals), whereas in the Early Classic, the style of central Mexican Teotihuacan made itself felt, just as that of the Toltec in the Postclassic.

After the demise of the Classic kingdoms of the central lowlands, ancient Maya art went through an extended Postclassic phase (950-1550 CE) centered on the Yucatan peninsula, before the upheavals of the sixteenth century destroyed courtly culture and put an end to the Mayan artistic tradition. Traditional art forms mainly survived in weaving and the design of peasant houses.

Maya art history[edit]

The nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century publications on Mayan art and archaeology by Stephens, Catherwood, Maudslay, Maler and Charnay for the first time made available reliable drawings and photographs of major Classic Maya monuments.

Studying a ruin at Izamal, Catherwood engraving

Following this initial phase, the 1913 publication of Herbert Spinden 'A Study of Maya Art' (now over a century ago ) laid the foundation for all later developments of Maya art history (including iconography).[1] The book gives an analytical treatment of themes and motifs, particularly the ubiquitous serpent and dragon motifs, and a review of the 'material arts', such as the composition of temple facades, roof combs and mask panels. Spinden's chronological treatment of Maya art was later (1950) refined by the motif analysis of the architect and specialist in archaeological drawing, Tatiana Proskouriakoff, in her book 'A Study of Classic Maya Sculpture'.[2]Kubler's 1969 inventory of Maya iconography, containing a site-by-site treatment of 'commemorative' images and a topical treatment of ritual and mythical images (such as the 'triadic sign'), concludes a period of gradual increase of knowledge that was soon to be overshadowed by new developments.

Starting in the early 1970s, the historiography of the Mayan kingdoms – first of all Palenque – came to occupy the forefront. Art-historical interpretation joined the historical approach pioneered by Proskouriakoff as well as the mythological approach initiated by M.D. Coe, with a professor of art, Linda Schele, serving as a driving force. Schele's seminal interpretations of Maya art are found throughout her work, especially in The Blood of Kings, written together with art historian M. Miller.[3] Mayan art history was also spurred by the enormous increase in sculptural and ceramic imagery, due to extensive archaeological excavations, as well as to organized looting on an unprecedented scale. On from 1973, M.D. Coe published a series of books offering pictures and interpretations of unknown Maya vases, with the Popol Vuh Twin myth for an explanatory model.[4] In 1981, Robicsek and Hales added an inventory and classification of Mayan vases painted in codex style,[5] thereby revealing even more of a hitherto barely known spiritual world.

As to subsequent developments, important issues in Schele's iconographic work have been elaborated by Karl Taube.[6] New approaches to Maya art include studies of ancient Maya ceramic workshops,[7] the representation of bodily experience and the senses in Maya art,[8] and of hieroglyphs considered as iconographic units.[9] Meanwhile, the number of monographs devoted to the monumental art of specific courts is growing.[10] A good impression of recent Mexican and North American art historical scholarship can be gathered from the exhibition catalogue 'Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya' (2004).[11]


Main article: Mayan architecture

Copan, 'Reviewing Stand' with simian musicians
Labna, Palace, vaulted passage

The layout of the Maya towns and cities, and more particularly of the ceremonial centers where the royal families and courtiers resided, is characterized by the rhythm of immense horizontal stucco floors of plazas often located at various levels, connected by broad and often steep stairs, and surmounted by temple pyramids.[12] Under successive reigns, the main buildings were enlarged by adding new layers of fill and stucco coating. Irrigation channels, reservoirs, and drains made up the hydraulic infrastructure. Outside the ceremonial center (especially in the southern area sometimes resembling an acropolis) were the structures of lesser nobles, smaller temples, and individual shrines, surrounded by the wards of the commoners. Dam-like causeways (sacbeob) spread from the 'ceremonial centers' to other nuclei of habitation. Fitting in with the concept of a 'theatre state', more attention appears to have been given to aesthetics than to solidity of construction. Careful attention, however, was placed on directional orientation.

Among the various types of stone structures should be mentioned:

  • Ceremonial platforms (usually less than 4 meters in height).
  • Courtyards and palaces.
  • Other residential buildings, such as a writers' house [13] and a possible council house in Copan.
  • Temples and temple pyramids, the latter often containing burials and burial chambers in their base or fill, with sanctuaries on top. The outstanding example are the many clustered dynastic burial temples of Tikal North Acropolis.
  • Ball courts.
  • Sweat baths, particularly those of Piedras Negras and Xultun, the latter one with remains of stucco decoration.

Among the structural ensembles are:

  • 'Triadic pyramids' consisting of a dominant structure flanked by two smaller inward-facing buildings, all mounted upon a single basal platform;
  • 'E-groups' consisting of a square platform with a low four-stepped pyramid on the west side and an elongated structure, or, alternatively, three small structures, on the eastern side;
  • 'Twin pyramid complexes', with identical four-stepped pyramids on the east and west sides of a small plaza; a building with nine doorways on the south side; and a small enclosure on the north side housing a sculpted stela with its altar and commemorating the king's performance of a k'atun-ending ceremony.

In the palaces and temple rooms, the 'corbelled vault' was often applied. Though not an effective means to increase interior space, as it required thick stone walls to support the high ceiling, some temples utilized repeated arches, or a corbelled vault, to construct an inner sanctuary (e.g., that of the Temple of the Cross at Palenque).

The northern Maya area (Campeche and Yucatan) shows characteristics of its own. Its Classic Puuc, Chenes, and Rio Bec architecture[14] is characterized by ornamentation in stone; geometrical reduction of realistic decoration; stacking of rain god snouts to build facades; use of portals shaped like serpent mouths; and, in the Rio Bec area, the use of solid pseudo temple-pyramids. The most important Puuc site is Uxmal. Chichen Itza, dominating Yucatán from the Late Classic to well into the Post-Classic, features Classic buildings in Chenes and Puuc style as well as Post-Classic building types of Mexican derivation, such as the radial four-staircase pyramid, the colonnaded hall, and the circular temple. The latter features were inherited by the succeeding kingdom of Mayapan.

  • Chichen Itza, traditional Maya house

  • Palenque, Temple of the Inscriptions, Late Classic

  • Tikal Temple II, Late Classic

  • Multistoried palace, Sayil, Yucatan, Late Classic

  • Uxmal, Nunnery building, frieze with stacked rain god snouts at corner, Late Classic

  • Ball court, Copan, Late Classic

Stone sculpture[edit]

See also: Maya stelae

Cancuen, panel 3, seated king with two subordinates. Second half 8th century.
Copan stela A, Maudslay cast

The main Preclassic sculptural style from the Maya area is that of Izapa, a large settlement on the Pacific coast where many stelas and (frog-shaped) altars were found showing motifs also present in Olmec art.[15] The stelas, mostly without inscriptions, often show mythological and narrative subjects, some of which appear to relate to the Twin myth of the Popol Vuh. Nonetheless, it remains uncertain if the inhabitants of Izapa were ethnically Mayan. For the Classic Period of the Mayas, the following major classes of stone sculpture, usually executed in limestone, may be distinguished.

  • Stelas. These are large, elongated stone slabs usually covered with carvings and inscriptions, and often accompanied by round altars. Typical of the Classical period, most of them depict the rulers of the cities they were located in, often disguised as gods. Although the rulers' faces, particularly during the later Classic Period, are naturalistic in style, they usually do not show individual traits; but there are notable exceptions to this rule (e.g., Piedras Negras, stela 35). The most famous stelas are from Copan and nearby Quirigua. These are outstanding for their intricateness of detail, those of Quirigua also for sheer height (stela E measuring over 7 metres above ground level and 3 below). Both the Copan and Tonina stelas approach sculptures in the round. From Palenque, otherwise a true Maya capital of the arts, no significant stelae have been preserved.
  • Lintels, spanning doorways or jambs. Particularly Yaxchilan is renowned for its long series of lintels in deep relief, some of the most famous of which show meetings with ancestors or, perhaps, local deities.[16]
  • Panels and tablets, set in the walls and piers of buildings and the sides of platforms. This category is particularly well represented at Palenque, with the large tablets adorning the inner sanctuaries of the Cross Group temples, and with refined masterworks such as the 'Palace Tablet', the 'Tablet of the Slaves', and the multi-figure panels of the temple XIX and XXI platforms.[17] King Pakal's carved sarcophagus lid - without equal in other Maya kingdoms - might also be included here.
  • Relief columns flanking doorways in public buildings from the Puuc region (northwestern Yucatan) and similar in decoration to stelas.[18]
  • Altars, rounded or rectangular, sometimes resting on three or four boulder-like legs. They may be wholly or partly figurative (e.g., Copan turtle altar) or have a relief image on top, sometimes consisting of a single Ahau day sign (Caracol, Tonina).[19]
  • Zoomorphs, or large boulders sculpted to resemble supernatural creatures and covered with highly complicated relief ornamentation. These seem to be restricted to the kingdom of Quirigua during the Late Classic period.[20]
  • Ball court markers, or relief roundels placed in the central axis of the floors of ball courts (such as those of Copan, Chinkultic, Tonina), and usually showing royal ball game scenes.
  • Monumental stairs, most famously the giant hieroglyphic stairway of Copan. The hewn stone blocks of hieroglyphic stairways together constitute an extensive text. Stairways can also be decorated with a great variety of scenes (La Corona), particularly the ball game. Sometimes, the ball game becomes the stairs' chief theme (Yaxchilan), with a captive depicted inside the ball, or, elsewhere (Tonina), a full-figure captive stretched out along the step.
  • Thrones and benches, the thrones with a broad, square seat, and a back sometimes iconically shaped like the wall of a cave and worked open to show human figures. Benches, covered with relief on the front, tend to be incorporated into the surrounding architecture; they are more elongated, and lack a back support. Examples from Palenque and Copan have supports showing cosmological carriers (Bacabs, Chaaks).
  • Stone sculpture in the round is especially known from Copan and Toniná. It is represented by statuary, such as a seated Copan scribe as well as captive figures and small stelas from Toniná; by certain figurative architectural elements, such as the twenty maize deities from the façade of Copan Temple 22;[21] and by giant sculptures such as the symmetrically-positioned jaguars and simian musicians of Copán, that were integral parts of architectural design.
  • Piedras Negras throne 1, with heads restored, Late Classic (Museo Nacional de Antropología e Historia de Guatemala)

  • Tonina monument 151, bound prisoner, Classic

Wood carving[edit]

It is believed that carvings in wood were once extremely common, but only a few examples have survived. Most 16th-century wood carvings, considered objects of idolatry, were destroyed by the Spanish colonial authorities. The most important Classic examples consist of intricately worked lintels, mostly from the main Tikal pyramid sanctuaries,[22] with one specimen from nearby El Zotz. The Tikal wood reliefs, each consisting of several beams, and dating to the 8th century, show a king on his seat with a protector figure looming large behind, in the form of a Teotihuacan-style 'war serpent' (Temple I lintel 2), a jaguar (Temple I lintel 3), or a human impersonator of the jaguar god of terrestrial fire (Temple IV lintel 2). Other Tikal lintels depict an obese king wearing a jaguar dress and standing in front of his seat (Temple III lintel 2); and most famously, a victorious king, dressed as an astral death god, and standing on a palanquin underneath an arching feathered serpent (Temple IV lintel 3). A rare utility object is a tiny lidded box from Tortuguero with hieroglyphic text all around it. Free sculpture in wood, dating back to the 6th century, is represented by a dignified seated man possibly functioning as a mirror bearer.

Stucco modeling[edit]

Stucco mask panels, Early Classic, Kohunlich

At least since Late Preclassic times, modeled and painted stucco plaster covered the floors and buildings of the town centers and provided the setting for their stone sculptures. Often, large mask panels with the plastered heads of deities in high relief (particularly those of sun, rain, and earth) are found attached to the sloping retaining walls of temple platforms flanking stairs (e.g., Kohunlich). Stucco modeling and relief work can also cover the entire building, as shown by Temple 16 of Copan, in its 6th-century form (known as 'Rosalila'). Dedicated to the first king, Yax K'uk' Mo', this early temple has preserved plastered and painted facades. The stuccoed friezes, walls, piers, and roof combs of the Late Preclassic and Classic periods show varying and sometimes symbolically complicated decorative programs.

Several solutions for dividing up and ordering the stuccoed surfaces of buildings were applied, serialization being one of them. The Early Classic walls of the 'Temple of the Night Sun' in El Zotz consist of a series of subtly varied deity mask panels, whereas the frieze of a Balamku palace, also from the Early Classic, originally had a series of four rulers enthroned above the open ophidian mouths of four different animals (a toad among them) associated with symbolic mountains. Conversely, friezes may be centered on a single ruler again sitting on a symbolic (maize) mountain, such as a frieze from Holmul, with two feathered serpents emanating from below the ruler's seat, and another one from Xultun, on which the ruler carries a large ceremonial bar with emerging jaguar-like figures.[23] An Early-Classic temple frieze from Placeres, Quintana Roo, has the large mask panel of a young lord or deity in the middle, with two lateral 'Grandfather' deities extending their arms.

Often, a frieze is divided into compartments. Late Preclassic friezes of El Mirador, for example, show the intervening spaces of an undulating serpent's body filled out with aquatic birds, and the sections of an aquatic band with swimming figures.[24] Similarly, a Classic palace frieze in Acanceh is divided into panels holding different animal figures[25] reminiscent of wayob, while a wall in Tonina has lozenge-shaped fields suggesting a scaffold and presenting continuous narrative scenes that relate to human sacrifice.[26]

Plastered roof combs are similar to some of the friezes above in that they usually show large representations of rulers, who may again be seated on a symbolic mountain, and also, as on Palenque's Temple of the Sun, set within a cosmological framework. Further examples of Classic stucco modeling include the piers of the Palenque Palace, embellished with a series of lords and ladies in ritual dress, and the 'baroque', Late-Classic Chenes-style stucco entrance, beset with naturalistic human figures, on the Acropolis (Str. 1) of Ek' Balam.

Unique in Mesoamerica, Classic Period stucco modeling includes realistic portraiture of a quality equalling that of Roman ancestral portraits, with the lofty stucco heads of Palenque rulers and portraits of dignitaries from Tonina as outstanding examples. The modeling recalls that of certain Jaina ceramic statuettes. Some, but not all, of these portrait heads were once part of life-size stucco figures adorning temple crests.[27] In the same way, one finds stucco glyphs that were once a part of stuccoed texts.

  • Balamku, part of a frieze, toad seated on mountain icon and belging forth king, Classic

  • Palenque Palace, House D, detail of stucco relief showing water lilies, long-nosed deity head and legs of seated figure, Classic

  • Palenque Templo Olvidado, calendrical glyphs detached from stucco text on pillar, Classic

  • Hormiguero, stucco head ("Maya Akhenaten"), Late Classic (Museo arqueológico Fuerte de S. Miguel, Campeche)

Mural painting[edit]

Bonampak mural, room 1, east wall: Musicians
San Bartolo mural: The king as Hunahpu

Although, due to the humid climate of Central America, relatively few Mayan paintings have survived to the present day integrally, important remnants have been found in nearly all major court residences. This is especially the case in substructures, hidden under later architectural additions. Mural paintings may show more or less repetitive motifs, such as the subtly varied flower symbols on walls of House E of the Palenque Palace; scenes of daily life, as in one of the buildings surrounding the central square of Calakmul and in a palace of Chilonche; or ritual scenes involving deities, as in the Post-Classic temple murals of Yucatán's and Belize's east coast (Tancah, Tulum, Santa Rita).[28] The latter murals betray a strong influence of the so-called 'Mixteca-Puebla style' once widely spread across Mesoamerica.

Murals may also evince a more narrative character, usually with hieroglyphic captions present. The colourful Bonampak murals, for example, dating from 790 AD, and extending over the walls and vaults of three adjacent rooms, show spectacular scenes of nobility, battle and sacrifice, as well as a group of ritual impersonators in the midst of a file of musicians.[29] At San Bartolo, murals dating from 100 BCE relate to the myths of the Maya maize god and the hero twin Hunahpu, and depict a double inthronization; antedating the Classic Period by several centuries, the style is already fully developed, with colours being subtle and muted as compared to those of Bonampak or Calakmul.[30] Outside the Mayan area, in a ward of East-Central Mexican Cacaxtla, murals painted in a predominantly Classic Mayan style, with often stark colors, have been found, such as a savage battle scene extending over 20 meters; two figures of Mayan lords standing on serpents; and an irrigated maize and cacao field visited by the Maya merchant deity.[31]

Wall painting also occurs on vault capstones, in tombs (e.g., Río Azul), and in caves (e.g., Naj Tunich),[32] usually executed in black on a whitened surface, at times with the additional use of red paint. Yucatec vault capstones often show a depiction of the enthroned lightning deity (e.g., Ek' Balam).

A bright turquoise blue colour - 'Maya Blue' - has survived through the centuries due to its unique chemical characteristics; this color is present in Bonampak, Cacaxtla, Jaina, El Tajín, and even in some Colonial Convents. The use of Maya Blue survived until the 16th century, when the technique was lost.[33]

Writing and bookmaking[edit]

Main articles: Maya script and Maya codices

The Maya writing system consists of about 1000 distinct characters or hieroglyphs ('glyphs'), and like many ancient writing systems is a mixture of syllabic signs and logograms. This script was in use from the 3rd century BCE until shortly after the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. As of now (2021), a considerable proportion of the characters has a reading, but their meaning and configuration as a text is not always understood. The books were folded and consisted of bark paper or leather leaves with an adhesive stucco layer on which to write; they were protected by jaguar skin covers and, perhaps, wooden boards.[34] Since every diviner probably needed a book, there must have existed large numbers of them.

Today, three Mayan hieroglyphic books, all from the Post-Classic period, are still in existence: the Dresden, Paris, and Madrid codices. A fourth book, the Grolier, is Maya-Toltec rather than Maya and lacks hieroglyphic texts; fragmentary and of very poor workmanship, it shows many anomalies, reason for which its authenticity has long remained in doubt.[35] These books are largely of a divinatory and priestly nature, containing almanacs, astrological tables, and ritual programs; the Paris Codex also includes katun-prophecies. Great attention was paid to a harmonious balance of texts and (partly coloured) illustrations.

Besides the codical glyphs, there existed a cursive script of an often dynamic character, found in wall-paintings and on ceramics, and imitated in stone on panels from Palenque (such as the 'Tablet of the 96 glyphs'). Often, written captions are enclosed in square 'boxes' of various shapes within the representation. Wall paintings may also entirely consist of texts (Ek' Balam, Naj Tunich), or, more rarely, contain astrological computations (Xultun); sometimes, written on a white stuccoed surface, and executed with particular care and elegance, these texts are like enlargements of book pages.

Hieroglyphs are ubiquitous and were written on every available surface, including the human body. The glyphs themselves are highly detailed, and particularly the logograms are deceivingly realistic. As a matter of fact, from an art-historical point of view, they should also be viewed as art motifs, and vice versa.[9] Sculptors at Copan and Quirigua have consequently felt free to convert hieroglyphic elements and calendrical signs into animated, dramatic miniature scenes ('full figure glyphs').[36]

Ceramics and 'ceramic codex'[edit]

Main article: Maya ceramics

Codex style cylinder vessel, courtly ritual

Unlike utility ceramics found in such large numbers among the debris of archaeological sites, most of the decorated pottery (cylinder vessels, lidded dishes, tripod plates, vases, bowls) once was 'social currency' among the Maya nobility, and, preserved as heirlooms, also accompanied the nobles into their graves.[37] The aristocratic tradition of gift-giving feasts[38] and ceremonial visits, and the emulation that inevitably went with these exchanges, goes a long way towards explaining the high level of artistry reached in Classical times.

Made without a potter's wheel, decorated pottery was delicately painted, carved into relief, incised, or - chiefly during the Early Classic period - made with the Teotihuacan fresco technique of applying paint to a wet clay surface. The precious objects were manufactured in numerous workshops distributed over the Mayan kingdoms, some of the most famous being associated with the 'Chama-style', the 'Holmul-style', the so-called 'Ik-style'[39] and, for carved pottery, the 'Chochola-style.'[40]

Vase decoration shows great variation, including palace scenes, courtly ritual, mythology, divinatory glyphs, and even dynastical texts taken from chronicles, and plays a major role in reconstructing Classical Maya life and beliefs. Ceramic scenes and texts painted in black and red on a white underground, the equivalents of pages from the lost folding books, are referred to as being in 'Codex Style' (e.g., the so-called Princeton Vase). The hieroglyphical and pictural overlap with the three extant books is (at least up to now) relatively small.

Sculptural ceramic art includes the lids of Early Classic bowls mounted by human or animal figures; some of these bowls, burnished black, are among the most distinguished Mayan works of art ever created.

Ceramic sculpture also includes incense burners and burial urns. Best known are the profusely decorated Classic burners from the kingdom of Palenque, which have the modeled face of a deity or of a king attached to an elongated hollow tube. The deity most frequently depicted, the jaguar deity of terrestrial fire, also adorns large Classic burial urns from the Guatemalan department of El Quiché.[41] The elaborate Post-Classic, mold-made effigy incense burners especially associated with Mayapan represent standing deities (or priestly deity impersonators) often carrying offerings.[42]

Finally, figurines, often mold-made, and of an amazing liveliness and realism, constitute a minor but highly informative genre. Apart from deities, animal persons, rulers and dwarfs, they show many other characters as well as scenes taken from daily life.[43] Some of these figurines are ocarinas and may have been used in rituals. The most impressive examples stem from Jaina Island.

  • Codex-style vase with mythological scene, 7th–8th century (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

  • Vessel with throne scene, Chamá style, late 7th–8th century (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

  • Relief vase with head of aquatic serpent, Chocholá style, Yucatan, Late Classic (Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin)

  • Lidded basal flange bowl, El Peru, Guatemala, Early Classic (Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología de Guatemala)

  • Tripod bowl with heron lid, Early Classic (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

  • Lower part of incense burner, Palenque style, Late Classic (Walters Art Museum)

  • Urn with jaguar deity lid, Late Classic (Walters Art Museum)

  • Costumed figure, 7th–8th century (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

  • Young nobleman as a flower, Jaina style, 8th century (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Precious stone and other sculpted materials[edit]

Marble belt assemblage with celt pendants, from the tomb of king Pakal, Palenque
Jade plaque from Nebaj, showing king flanked by 'Paxtrees' with maize foliage

It is remarkable that the Maya, who had no metal tools, created many objects from a very thick and dense material, jade (jadeite), particularly all sorts of (royal) dress elements, such as belt plaques - or celts - ear spools, pendants, and also masks. Celts (i.e., flat, celt-shaped ornaments) were sometimes engraved with a stela-like representation of the king (e.g., the Early-Classic 'Leyden Plate'). The best-known example of a mask is probably the death mask of the Palenque king Pakal, covered with irregularly-shaped marble plaques and having eyes made from mother-of-pearl and obsidian; another death mask, belonging to a Palenque queen, consists of malachite plaques. Similarly, certain cylindrical vases from Tikal have an outer layer of square jade discs. Many stone carvings had jade inlays.

Among other sculpted and engraved materials are flint, chert, shell, and bone, often found in caches and burials. The so-called 'eccentric flints' are ceremonial objects of uncertain use, in their most elaborate forms of elongated shape with usually various heads extending on one or both sides, sometimes those of the lightning deity, but more often of an anthropomorphic lightning probably representing the Tonsured Maize God.[44] Shell was worked into disks and other decorative elements showing human, possibly ancestral heads and deities; conch trumpets were similarly decorated.[45] Human and animal bones were decorated with incised symbols and scenes. A collection of small and modified, tubular bones from an 8th-century royal burial under Tikal Temple I contains some of the most subtle engravings known from the Maya, including several scenes with the Tonsured maize god in a canoe.[46]

  • Jadeite deity face pendant, 7th–8th century (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

  • Jadeite rain deity with arms in royal posture, Early Classic (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

  • Jade belt plaque with ruler, Early Classic (Kimbell Art Museum)

  • Funerary mask of a Palenque queen covered with pieces of malachite, 7th century (site museum)

Applied arts and body decoration[edit]

See also: Maya textiles

Textiles from the Classic period, made of cotton, have not survived, but Maya art provides detailed information about their appearance and, to a lesser extent, their social function.[47] They include delicate fabrics used as wrappings, curtains and canopies furnishing palaces, and garments. Among the dyeing techniques may have been ikat. Daily costume depended on social standing. Noblewomen usually wore long dresses, noblemen girdles and breechcloths, leaving legs and upper body more or less bare, unless jackets or mantles were worn. Both men and women could wear turbans. Costumes worn on ceremonial occasions and during the many festivities were highly expressive and exuberant; animal headdresses were common. The most elaborate costume was the formal apparel of the king, as depicted on the royal stelae, with numerous elements of symbolic meaning.[48]

Wickerwork, only known from incidental depictions in sculptural and ceramic art,[49] must once have been ubiquitous; the well-known pop ('mat') motif testifies to its importance.[50]

Body decorations often consisted of painted patterns on face and body, but could also be of a permanent character marking status and age differences. The latter type included artificial deformation of the skull, filing and incrustation of the teeth, and tattooing of the face.[51]

Museum collections[edit]

There are a great many museums across the world with Maya artifacts in their collections. The Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies lists over 250 museums in its Maya Museum database,[52] and the European Association of Mayanists lists just under 50 museums in Europe alone.[53]

In Mexico City, the Museo Nacional de Antropología contains an especially large selection of Maya artifacts.[54] A number of regional museums in Mexico hold important collections, including Museo Amparo in Puebla, with its famous throne back from Chiapas; the Museo de las Estelas "Román Piña Chan" in Campeche;[55] the Museo Regional de Yucatán "Palacio Cantón" in Mérida; and the Museo Regional de Antropología "Carlos Pellicer Camera" in Villahermosa, Tabasco.[56]

In Guatemala, the most important museum collections are those of the Museo Popol Vuh and the Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, both in Guatemala City,[54] with many smaller pieces on display in the "El Príncipe Maya" museum, Cobán. In Belize, Maya artefacts can be found in the Museum of Belize and the Bliss Institute; in Honduras, in the Copan Sculpture Museum and in the Galería Nacional de Arte, Tegucigalpa.

In the United States, almost every major art museum has a collection of Maya artifacts, often including stone monuments. Among the more important east coast collections are those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Princeton University Art Museum; the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Dumbarton Oaks collection;[57] and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, with its famous inaugural stela 14 of Piedras Negras. On the west coast, the De Young Museum of San Francisco and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with its large collection of painted Maya ceramics, are important. Other notable collections include the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History, which contains a selection of Maya ceramics excavated by J. Eric S. Thompson.

In Europe, the British Museum in London exhibits a series of famous Yaxchilan lintels, and the Museum der Kulturen in Basel, Switzerland, a number of wooden lintels from Tikal. The Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin holds a broad selection of Maya artifacts, including an incised Early-Classic vase showing a king lying in state and awaiting post-mortem transformation. The Museo de América in Madrid hosts the Madrid Codex as well as a large selection of artifacts from Palenque.[56] Other notable European museums are the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde in Leiden, Netherlands, home to La Pasadita lintel 2 and the Leyden Plate; the Musées royaux d'art et d'histoire in Brussels;[55] and the Rietberg Museum in Zürich, Switzerland.[56]

Maya performative arts[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^Spinden 1975
  2. ^Proskouriakoff 1950
  3. ^Schele and Miller 1986
  4. ^Code 1973, 1975, 1978, 1982
  5. ^Robicsek and Hales 1981
  6. ^E.g., Miller and Taube 1993; Taube et al. 2010
  7. ^Reents-Budet 1994
  8. ^Houston et al. 2005
  9. ^ abStone and Zender 2011
  10. ^Tate 1992, Looper 2003, Simmons Clancy 2009, O'Neil 2012
  11. ^Miller and Martin 2004
  12. ^Stierlin 1994
  13. ^Coe and Kerr 1997: 100-101
  14. ^Gendrop 1983
  15. ^Guernsey 2006
  16. ^Tate 1992
  17. ^Stuart and Stuart 2008
  18. ^Mayer 1981
  19. ^Martin and Grube 2000: 89
  20. ^Looper 2003: 172-178, 186-192
  21. ^Schwerin 2011
  22. ^W.R. Coe et al. 1961
  23. ^
  24. ^Doyle and Houston 2012
  25. ^V.E. Miller 1991
  26. ^see Yadeun 1993:108-115
  27. ^Martin and Grube 2000: 168
  28. ^Miller 1982; Gann 1900
  29. ^M.E. Miller 1986; M.E. Miller and Brittenham 2013
  30. ^Saturno et al. 2005; Taube et al. 2010
  31. ^Lozoff Brittenham and Uriarte 2015
  32. ^Stone 1995
  33. ^Reyes-Valerio 1993; Houston et al. 2009
  34. ^Coe and Kerr 1997
  35. ^Love 2017
  36. ^Houston 2014: 108-117
  37. ^Reents-Budet 1994: 72ff
  38. ^Tozzer 1941: 92
  39. ^Just 2012
  40. ^Tate 1985
  41. ^McCampbell 2010
  42. ^Thompson 1957; Milbrath 2007
  43. ^Halperin 2014
  44. ^Agurcia, Sheets, Taube 2016
  45. ^Finamore and Houston 2010: 124-131
  46. ^Trik 1963
  47. ^Looper 2000
  48. ^E.g., Dillon and Christensen 2005
  49. ^Reents-Budet 1994: 331
  50. ^Robicsek 1975
  51. ^Houston et al. 2006: 18-25
  52. ^Ros.
  53. ^"Museums & Collections - Wayeb".
  54. ^ abWagner 2011, p. 451.
  55. ^ abWagner 2011, p. 450.
  56. ^ abcWagner 2011, p. 452.
  57. ^Pillsbury et al. 2012


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Fact or Fiction: Ancient Mayan sculpture resembles Batman?

Rest - Natasha sighed - Marya is not there, there is no one to serve, I will go myself to collect. Something for breakfast. She didnt take it, but an armchair.

Now discussing:

Through the utility room door I could only hear the dense, soft sound of rain, as if coming from afar, and the frantic clatter of drops running along the roofs. And gutters of houses. All this monotonous, relaxing symphony was accompanied by sudden, frantic rumbles of thunder, quite clearly hinting that I would have to spend a.

Lot of time here.

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