Image - Cacao Pod Vessel - K6706 © Justin Kerr FAMSI © 2007:
Jennifer Foley

Correlating Archaeological and Epigraphic Evidence at La Sufricaya, Holmul, Petén
Vea este informe en Español.

Figure 5. Photograph of Mural 7 fully excavated. (Photo courtesy of A. Tokovinine.)

Research Year:  2005
Culture:  Maya
Chronology:  Early Classic to Terminal Classic
Location:  Holmul, Petén, Guatemala
Site:  La Sufricaya

Table of Contents

Site History
Objectives of 2005 Season
Mural 7
Structure 1
Group 16
List of Figures
Sources Cited


This report summarizes the results of the 2005 field season at La Sufricaya, located in the Holmul region of the eastern Petén, Guatemala (Figure 1). Funding from FAMSI supported a team of archaeologists, epigraphers, conservators and specialists in the excavation, conservation and documentation of an important hieroglyphic mural. This mural, which dates to the Early Classic period (A.D. 250-500), commemorates events associated with the Teotihuacán "entrada" to the Petén and the accompanying sociopolitical changes in the region during this time period (Coggins 1975, 1976; Proskouriakoff 1993; Martin and Grube 2000; Stuart 2000). The mural is also one of the few glyphic texts recovered in situ from the Holmul region and provides crucial information concerning the ruling elite and their role in the larger region of the Maya lowlands.

This exciting and intriguing discovery has generated numerous questions about the sociopolitical history of La Sufricaya and the role of its inhabitants in both local and regional history. Based on numerous lines of evidence suggesting foreign contact between La Sufricaya and central México (Estrada-Belli 2003a; Estrada-Belli and Foley 2004; Grube 2003; Foley 2005), the foremost question concerned the degree and nature of this foreign influence at the site. Specifically, we wondered if La Sufricaya was the site of a foreign enclave, and therefore direct contact between the sites, or if the foreign styles were restricted to the elite and ritual contexts within Structure 1 and reflected indirect contact. Therefore, a new phase of excavation was initiated during the 2005 field season with the objective of determining the extent of foreign influence at La Sufricaya. Test excavations in residential complexes surrounding the ceremonial core were carried out with the hope that they would provide information concerning the identity and role of the inhabitants of the site and their possible sociopolitical connections to Teotihuacán. This correlation of archaeological and epigraphic data will constitute a solid basis for applying and evaluating models of interaction between the Maya and Teotihuacán.

Click to download the report in PDF format:

Correlating Archaeological and Epigraphic Evidence at La Sufricaya, Holmul, Petén  (793 KB)

The PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader.
To download the latest version, click the Get Acrobat Reader button below.

Get Acrobat Reader

Submitted 05/01/2007 by:
Jennifer Foley

Return to top of page