Stele

Stele
Chiapas (Mexico)
Early Classic Maya, 593 CE
Calcareous limestone; 250 x 75 cm
Inv. AAM.66.34

 

This architectural upright, probably discovered at Lancaja (Chiapas), is from an entrance to the palace. The relief panel depicts a Maya governor with all his attributes, including a very elaborate headdress with large feathers rising from it. The young sovereign is shown in war gear, in keeping with the tradition of the region. The inscription in Maya hieroglyphs above and in front of the figure states that he was twenty-two years old on 10 August 593 CE. It also says that he succeeded his father, no doubt specifying his ancestry in order to ensure his legitimacy. Beyond the fine quality of the carving, the main interest of this piece resides in the accompanying text, which gives us a tiny glimpse of political life in this important civilization.

 

Discover this masterpiece on the online museum catalogue Carmentis, in the book Masterpieces and in our America galleries.