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The article focuses on the “cult of the stelae” which was a ubiquitous component of the Classic Maya period (250–900 BC). The tradition of the erecting stone monuments in the form of stelae can be traced throughout Maya area (Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras), they were decorated with carvings in low and high relief depicting the rulers. Scenes related to the glorifi cation, deifi cation of the ruler and his actions prevail in the stelae decoration at the beginning of the 4th century BC. But there was a much more ancient type of the monument, the so-called “plain” stela, without any carvings. The article analyzes the semantics of the stone shape chosen for the stela and provides information on various examples from Kaminaljuyu (Guatemala) El Naranjo (Guatemala), Palenque (Mexico), Tikal (Guatemala).


Maya, iconography, stone sculpture, religion

Amina I. Fahry

Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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