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Matthew G. Looper

Documentation of Sculptures at Quiriguá, Guatemala
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Figure 26: Zoomorph P north

Research Year:  1996
Culture:  Maya
Chronology:  Classic
Location:  Izabal, Guatemala
Site:  Quiriguá

Table of Contents

Description of Project
Previous Studies
Sources Cited
Monument Drawings


The ancient Maya site of Quiriguá, Izabal, Guatemala is renowned for its large monumental sculptures. Most of these sculptures were executed over a sixty-year period between A.D. 746 and 805.  The final seven sculptures of this series, dated between A.D. 785 and 805, are considered to be masterworks of ancient Maya sculpture and represent the complete monumental commissions of the last two known Classic period kings of Quiriguá, Sky-Xul and Jade-Sky (Kelley, 1962). These seven large, elaborately carved sculptures range in format from flat altars to zoomorphic thrones to stelae. They served the kings of Quiriguá as both centerpoints for religious festivals and loci for the promulgation of political propaganda through presentation of royal imagery and extensive hieroglyphic texts. As such, the sculptures are not only significant as works of art, but are also important iconographic sources and are essential for historical and political reconstructions.

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Submitted 07/01/1996 by:

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