DescriptionMaya Plate with Elaborate Ceremonial Scene
Ça 600-800 AD
Slipped and painted ceramic
3¾" High x 16" Wide
This unusually large Maya tripod plate was probably intended as a ceremonial offering or an elaborate gift between polities. Four figures with water lily headdresses adorn the inner sides of the plate. They are separated by plumed devices and two large jaguar skin-bound drums surmounted by paint jars. The glyphs in bands before most of the figures were meant to disclose their names, but these are pseudoglyphs and they are not readable. Within a circle painted in the center of the vessel, a ruler is seated on a woven mat that rests upon a throne. A water bird is perched beneath the throne. The bird may indicate the ruler's name or the name of his polity. The outside of the plate is painted with a zigzag and round object pattern. The unslipped feet are equipped with clay pellets which cause them to rattle when the plate is moved. The plate is complete. It has been broken and glued. The painted area is worn, but clearly readable.
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