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Maya Vessel with Dog Painting

Maya Vessel with Dog Painting

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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 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.

Lascaux cave paintings discovered

Near Montignac, France, a collection of prehistoric cave paintings are discovered by four teenagers who stumbled upon the ancient artwork after following their dog down a narrow entrance into a cavern. The 15,000- to 17,000-year-old paintings, consisting mostly of animal representations, are among the finest examples of art from the Upper Paleolithic period.

First studied by the French archaeologist Henri-ಝouard-Prosper Breuil, the Lascaux grotto consists of a main cavern 66 feet wide and 16 feet high. The walls of the cavern are decorated with some 600 painted and drawn animals and symbols and nearly 1,500 engravings. The pictures depict in excellent detail numerous types of animals, including horses, red deer, stags, bovines, felines, and what appear to be mythical creatures. There is only one human figure depicted in the cave: a bird-headed man with an erect phallus. Archaeologists believe that the cave was used over a long period of time as a center for hunting and religious rites.

The Lascaux grotto was opened to the public in 1948 but was closed in 1963 because artificial lights had faded the vivid colors of the paintings and caused algae to grow over some of them. A replica of the Lascaux cave was opened nearby in 1983 and receives tens of thousands of visitors annually.

Mayan Symbols

The earliest known writing discovered in the Mayan script dates from about 250 BC, but the script is thought to have developed at an earlier date than that. The Mayans were known for their sophisticated culture which included many hieroglyphics.

Mayan hieroglyphics were carved into stone or bone, or even painted on pottery or written on books. The two main topics of their texts were astronomy and religious views.

Here are the main logograms that the Mayan civilization used to express words and ideas.

Related Mayan Jewelry

By the Artist – David Weiztman and Ka Gold Jewelry

Maya numerals were a vigesimal (base-twenty) numeral system used by the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization.

The numerals are made up of three symbols zero (shell shape), one (a dot) and five (a bar). For example, nineteen (19) is written as four dots in a horizontal row above three horizontal lines stacked upon each other.

Here is the chart of Mayan numerals.

Each day in the Haab’ calendar was identified by a day number in the month followed by the name of the month. Day numbers began with a glyph translated as the “seating of” a named month, which is usually regarded as day 0 of that month, although a minority treat it as day 20 of the month preceding the named month. In the latter case, the seating of Pop is day 5 of Wayeb’. For the majority, the first day of the year was 0 Pop (the seating of Pop). This was followed by 1 Pop, 2 Pop as far as 19 Pop then 0 Wo, 1 Wo and so on.

Neither the Tzolk’in nor the Haab’ system numbered the years. The combination of a Tzolk’in date and a Haab’ date was enough to identify a date to most people’s satisfaction, as such a combination did not occur again for another 52 years, above general life expectancy.

Because the two calendars were based on 260 days and 365 days respectively, the whole cycle would repeat itself every 52 Haab’ years exactly. This period was known as a Calendar Round. The end of the Calendar Round was a period of unrest and bad luck among the Maya, as they waited in expectation to see if the gods would grant them another cycle of 52 years.

Here is the Haab calendar (365 days)

Here is the Mayan sacred almanac of 260 days.

The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar is a non-repeating, vigesimal (base-20) and base-18 calendar used by several Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures, most notably the Maya. For this reason, it is sometimes known as the Maya (or Mayan) Long Count calendar. Using a modified vigesimal tally, the Long Count calendar identifies a day by counting the number of days passed since a mythical creation date that corresponds to August 11, 3114 BCE in the Gregorian calendar.

The Long Count calendar was widely used on monuments.

Here is the Mayan Long Count Calendar and it`s symbols.


This ancient Mayan symbol is representative of the Earth keeper who sanctifies the Earth and venerates all life that exists on it. Reminding everyone, of the larger forces that are behind all creation, this Earth symbol represents movement, transition, and synchronization. It motivates people to be patient, observant and flexible. It also symbolizes the synergistic working of destiny that brings everyone together for shared spiritual intents. Focusing on the Caban symbol helps one become centered and experience spiritual unfolding.

These are the main Mayan symbols that we have discovered to this date. If more Mayan symbols should be found and documented, we will include them in this section of ancient Mayan symbols


The Jaguar is the god of the underworld in the Mayan mythology and is symbolic of darkness and the night sun. It rules over the celestial forces of day & night and so is seen as a representation of leadership, control, and confidence.

Being the embodiment of aggression, the Jaguar is also a symbol of strength, ferocity, power, and valor. It has a strong vision and can see even at night. So, it is associated with deep perception, foresight, and prudence. The ancient Mayans revered the Jaguar and accorded it immense religious importance, second only to the snake god.


The Eagle is representative of focus, mental acuity, contemplative thought, sharp awareness, foresight, keen judgment, powerful communication, and inspiration. Focusing on it is believed to facilitate clear thinking, give access to inner wisdom and encourage action that takes one to greater heights in life. Seen as the ruler of the sky, the Eagle is associated with freedom, mental liberation, and detail-oriented vision.

The Mayan symbol of Eagle also stands for protection, authority, and control, and is considered symbolic of unity or cooperation within a diverse group. Native wisdom relates the Eagle with skill and determination too because of its ability to fulfill its needs in the most efficient way.

Main Article


While little remains of Olmec architecture, many buildings of later Mesoamerican civilizations have survived. Mesoamerican architecture culminated in the Maya city-states, largest of which was Tikal, in present-day Guatemala. A typical Mesoamerican city was constructed around a central rectangular plaza (open public space) framed by large buildings, including stepped pyramids larger cities might feature multiple plazas. H556,H560

The stepped pyramid is the greatest form of Mesoamerican architecture. Like the ziggurats of Mesopotamia, Mesoamerican pyramids served mainly as platforms for temples internal chambers, if present, were small. Mesoamerican pyramids were generally made of stone, allowing them to weather the elements far better than their brick ziggurat cousins. The most famous of all Mesoamerican structures is El Castillo , the great central pyramid in the Maya city of Chichen Itza, Mexico.

The Mesoamericans also built grand palaces (residential/administrative complexes) using mainly post-and-beam construction, with the occasional corbel arch (see Corbelling). (True arched construction never emerged in the pre-colonial Americas.) Mesoamerican palaces have the same massive, richly carved aesthetic as the stepped pyramids.

Apart from pyramids, the best known Mesoamerican building type is the ball court. This structure housed the infamous Mesoamerican ball game, in which players attempt to direct a ball through a stone hoop without using their hands. The court consists of a flat playing surface flanked by sloping walls, with stone hoops mounted along the top of each wall.


Mesoamerican sculpture is typically quite stylized (see Realism vs. Stylization), with simplified, curvilinear shapes. As in traditions of sculpture throughout the world, human and animal figures are common, as are hybrid creatures. Humans are often depicted with elaborate headdresses and jewellery.

Olmec art has survived chiefly in the form of small figures and vessels sculpted from stone and clay. The most famous Olmec works, however, are the colossal heads: enormous stone busts which stand over six feet high. H556

One of the principal forms of Mesoamerican sculpture is the stele (plural stelae): an upright stone slab carved in relief. Stelae were fashioned by many civilizations as religious and civic monuments, often displaying the portraits and deeds of deities or human rulers. Stelae were a common feature of Mesoamerican plazas. H560

Mesoamerican sculpture culminated under the Maya, who worked extensively in stelae, figures, vessels, and architectural sculpture.

Maya kings felt the need to legitimize their claim to power. One of the ways to do this was to build a temple or pyramid. Tikal Temple I is a good example. This temple was built during the reign of Yikʼin Chan Kʼawiil. Another king named Kʼinich Janaabʼ Pakal would later carry out this same show of power when building the Temple of Inscriptions at Palenque. The Temple of Inscriptions still towers today amid the ruins of Palenque, as the supreme symbol of influence and power in Palenque.

Maya kings cultivated godlike personas. When a ruler died and left no heir to the throne, the result was usually war and bloodshed. King Pacal's precursor, Pacal I, died upon the battlefield. However, instead of the kingdom erupting into chaos, the city of Palenque, a Maya capital city in southern Mexico, invited in a young prince from a different city-state. The prince was only twelve years old.

Pacal and his predecessors not only built elaborate temples and pyramids. They expanded their city-state into a thriving empire. Under Yikʼin Chan Kʼawiil, Tikal conquered Calakmul and the other cities around Tikal, forming what could be referred to as a super city-state. Pacal achieved in creating a major center for power and development.

A Maya king was expected to be an excellent military leader. He would often carry out raids against rival city-states. The Maya kings also offered their own blood to the gods. The rulers were also expected to have a good mind to solve problems that the city might be facing, including war and food crises.

Maya kings were expected to ensure the gods received the prayers, praise and attention they deserved and to reinforce their divine lineage. [1] They did this by displaying public rituals such as processions through the streets of their cities. A more private ritual was that of blood sacrifice, which was done by Lords and their wives. [2]

  • All dates AD if otherwise, it is stated.
  • The lists may not be completed. However, take in consideration that some lists are more completed than others in different aspects.
  • English language names are provisional nicknames based on their identifying glyphs, where rulers' Maya language names have not yet been definitively deciphered phonetically.

Aguateca Edit

    – father of Tan Te' Kinich, ruled in the 8th century AD. – son of Ucha'an K'an B'alam, ruled from 770 AD to approximately 802 AD. [3]

La Amelia Edit

Calakmul Edit

  • Stelae 76 and 78
  • Stelae 9, 13, 30?, 31, 32?, 33, 34?, 35, 36, 37?, 75, 77?, 79, 85?, 86, 87?, 93 and 94 [6]
  • Stelae 1, 7?, 8, 23, 24, 38, 39?, 40, 41?, 42?, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 70, 71 , 72, 73, 74 and 89 [6]
  • Stelae 25, 26, 27, 59 and 60 [6]
  • Stelae 62 (unfinished) and 68
  • Stelae 57 and 58 [6]
  • Stela 61

Cancuén Edit

Caracol Edit

  • 331–349: Te' K'ab Chaak 470: K'ak' Ujol K'inich I
  • 484–514: Yajaw Te' K'inich I
  • 531–534: K'an I
  • 553–593: Yajaw Te' K'inich II (Lord Water)
  • 599–613: Knot Ajaw
  • 618–658: K'an II
  • 658–680: K'ak' Ujol K'inich II
  • circa 700: Ruler VII
  • mid 8th century: name unknown
  • 793: Tum Yohl K'inich
  • 798: K'inich Joy K'awiil
  • 810–830: K'inich Toob'il Yoaat
  • 835–849: K'an III
  • 859: Ruler XIII

Chiapa de Corzo Edit

(Here two different sets of rulers are known, separated by a hiatus of nearly 100 years.)

Chichen Itzá Edit

  • c.869-890: K’ak’upakal K’awiil, possibly ruler or a high-ranked official
  • c.930-950: Ak-Holtun-Bahlam I
  • ?-1047: Ak-Holtun-Bahlam II
  • 1047-?: Poshek Ix Soi
  • c.1194: Canek

Cocom dynasty Edit

Cobá Edit

(Note: the order of the rulers is unknown)

  • c.500? -?: Yu’npik Tok’, founded the city and the ruling family, which lasted in power until 780 [11]
  • ?: K’ahk’ Chitam
  • ?: Uxman K’awiil
  • ?: Yopaat Taj Naaj
  • ?: Lady Yopaat
  • ?: K’ahk’ Yopaat
  • ?: K’aloomte
  • ?: Xaman K’awiil
  • ?: Ruler A (unknown)
  • ?: Ruler B (unknown)
  • ?: Ruler C (unknown)
  • ?: Ruler D (unknown)
  • ?: Ruler E (unknown)

Copán Edit

(Note:Despite the sparse references to previous rulers in Copán, the first safe reference is from 426. All the rulers, with the exception of the last one, appear in the called Altar Q.)

This Hairless Mexican Dog Has a Storied, Ancient Past

With a history going back more than 3,500 years, the xoloitzcuintli dog played a significant role in Precolumbian life.

To the ancient Aztec and Maya, man's best friend was also a hairless, ugly-cute healer, occasional food source, and, most importantly, guide to the Underworld.

Sometimes known as the Mexican Hairless dog, the xoloitzcuintli (pronounced "show-low-itz-QUEENT-ly") gets its name from two words in the language of the Aztecs: Xolotl, the god of lightning and death, and itzcuintli, or dog. According to Aztec belief, the Dog of Xolotl was created by the god to guard the living and guide the souls of the dead through the dangers of Mictlán, the Underworld.

This Ugly-Cute Hairless Dog Has a Surprising History

One of the most ancient dog breeds of the Americas, researchers believe the ancestors of the xoloitzcuintli (or 'xolo' for short) accompanied the earliest migrants from Asia and had developed into the breed seen today by at least 3,500 years ago. The xolo's hairlessness (save for a tuft or two of hair on top of the head or on the tail) is the result of a genetic mutation that is also responsible for the dog's lack of premolars. This distinctive dental trait makes identifying the remains of xolos in archaeological contexts relatively easy.

Xolos appear in ancient Mesoamerican art often with pointed ears and wrinkly skin to indicate their hairlessness. The most frequent depictions take the form of small ceramic vessels known as Colima Dogs for the modern state in western Mexico where they are commonly found. In Colima and the neighboring states of Nayarit and Jalsico, archaeologists estimate that more than 75 percent of burials from the Preclassic period (ca. 300 B.C to A.D. 300) contain these vessels, which may have served as symbolic dog guides to help the soul of the dead travel through the Underworld.

These hairless canines also caught the eye of European chroniclers such as Christopher Columbus and the 16th-century Spanish missionary Bernadino de Sahagún, who describes how the Aztecs would tuck xolos in blankets at night to keep them warm. The dogs' fur-free bodies also serve as excellent heat conductors, making them a kind of ancient hot-water bottle for the ill and the elderly. "They know when you're sick," observes Kay Lawson, a 20-year xolo breeder and past president of the Xoloitzcuintli Club of America. "They zero right in to where it hurts."

Along with turkeys, xolos were one of the only domesticated animals eaten by ancient Mesoamericans. The conquistadors developed such an appetite for the convenient canine protein source when they arrived in the New World that they nearly ate the xoloitzcuintli into oblivion, says archaeologist Marc Thompson, director of the Tijeras Pueblo Museum.

By the time the xolo was officially recognized in Mexico in 1956, the breed was nearly extinct. Today, however, these ancient dogs are experiencing a revival, especially among people who are allergic to their furry counterparts. But they're not for everyone, Lawson warns.

"You really have to be thinking [with xolos] all the time," she says. "They open doors, they open crates. This is a primitive dog. They're extremely intelligent."

Ancient, Historic and Contemporary Native American Artifacts

Below are examples of pottery vessels from various Native American cultures. Of course, each item is guaranteed to be authentic and as described. Any known repairs or restoration will be fully described. All pre-historic and ancient artifacts were found on private deeded property and acquired legally according to all State, Federal and Indian laws.

A pair of Catawba Indian pottery pitchers. Both of similar form with rounded bodies, tall spouts and thick strap handles. Their surface is in tans and grays with areas of black fire clouding as is typical of Catawba pottery. The smaller pitcher is in excellent condition. The larger one has a stable stress crack along the upper shoulder. Both are unsigned. They probably date to the Mid 20th Century, but could be earlier.

An exceptional Catawba Indian pottery tripod bowl dating to the first quarter of the 20th Century. A chief's head adorns either side. The rim is scalloped. The bowl sits atop three pointy legs. Typical tan clay with areas of black fire-clouding. Condition is near excellent. The tip of one leg has been restored, as has the tip of the nose on one chief's head otherwise choice. A fine older example. Rare and very desirable among collectors.

Exceptional Middle Mississippian blackware "Fortune Noded" four-lobed shaman's rattle pot. Round bowl with four large noded lobes, each containing rattles. Very rare and beautiful. In fine condition. A few minor dings but overall appears choice. Ex. Rex Arrowsmith

Late 19th - Early 20th Century

Large older Maricopa olla-form (seed) bowl dating to the turn of the 20th century. An early unsigned example. Red exterior with traditional designs painted in black, typical of the period. Condition is fair. Broken and glued together from approx. 12-15 pieces. Rim losses and minor body losses, but basically all there. Approx. 95% original. Some general light surface wear and paint loss. No fill or restoration present at this time. Could be restored for additional cost.

Approx. 6.5" tall x 7" across


The Mayan feathered serpent deity Kukulkan was known to other Mesoamerican cultures like the Aztecs and Olmecs who worshipped the god under different names. The myth surrounding this deity mention the god as a creator of the cosmos in the Popul Vuh, the Kiche Maya sacred book. The serpent god is also called the Vision Serpent. Feathers represent the god’s ability to soar in the heavens while as a serpent the god can also travel the earth. Kukulkan cult temples during the Post-Classical era can be found in Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Mayapan. The serpent cult emphasized peaceful trade and good communication among the cultures. Since a snake can shed its skin, it symbolizes renewal and rebirth.

Ancient Americas Collection

From Mexico, the Museum is strongest in the cultural material of the Maya, with several painted pottery tripod plates and cylinder vases, an impressive terracotta ceremonial incense burner with the head of a jaguar, several terracotta figurines, a group of chipped eccentric flints, a number of jade and obsidian objects, a stone hacha relating to the Mesoamerican ballgame, almost three dozen stone celts, and two fine stucco sculptures of a portrait head and a seated deity. From western Mexico there are several Colima ceramics, including a well-fed techichi dog, a number of Jalisco and Nayarit figurines, and a sampling of abstracted human figures in stone from the Mezcala culture. There are also two dozen Chupicuaro pottery vessels and a painted ceramic figurine of a standing woman.

Central Mexico is represented by several ceramic and stone objects as well as two important mural fragments from Teotihuacan. Other Mexican items include Preclassic terracottas and Michoacan "gingerbread" figurines, along with objects from the cultures of the Zapotec, Mixtec, Tarascans, and others. A particular strength is the collection of impressive terracotta sculptures from Veracruz on the Gulf Coast that includes a large portrait head, an imposing decorated incense burner, several heads from so-called "laughing boy" figures and a stunning sculpture of the god Xipe Totec wearing the flayed skin of a human victim.

From Costa Rica in Central America the Museum has several stone sculptures of seated shamans and an ornamented grinding platform (metate) along with over twenty painted ceramic vessels, a number of green stone pendants and beads, and two miniature sculptures in gold.

From South America, most of the Museum's holdings originated in Peru. This Peruvian material includes an extensive collection of remarkably-preserved textiles, numbering over 150 examples, and covers a wide range of styles and techniques, mostly from the Paracas, Nazca, and Chancay cultures. A number of these textiles, such as two masks for covering the heads of mummy bundles, employ brightly colored feathers. Aside from the textiles, works of ceramic, stone, wood, shell, bone and metal represent nearly all of the pre-Inca cultures: the Moche, Nazca, Recuay, Vicus, Huari, Chancay, Chimu and Inca.

Watch the video: ΤΑ 10 ΠΙΟ ΦΙΛΙΚΑ ΣΚΥΛΙΑ ΓΙΑ ΟΙΚΟΓΕΝΕΙΕΣ ΚΑΙ ΠΑΙΔΙΑ! Ράτσες σκύλων! Top 10 Gl Facts (July 2022).


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