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Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Polychrome Vase

The cylindrical shape of this vase, its color, and the arrangement of the decoration—a band of glyphs circling the top of the vase with figures below it—are all typical of Late Classic Maya ceramics; however, the number and complexity of the individual figures as well as the scenes in which they are arranged are exceptional. Though much is still not understood about Maya imagery and iconography, painted ceramics such as this clearly convey the richness of imagination and thought that helped to make the Maya a dominant culture during Mesoamerica’s Classic period.

Maya culture, Petén (?), Guatemala
Polychrome Vase
Late Classic period, 700-800
Clay, pigment
H. 9 ¾ in. (24.7 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 73.10.2