"A Maya Universe in Stone" by Stephen Houston

A Maya Universe in Stone Stephen Houston

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
19 Oct 2021
ISBN:
9781606067444
Imprint:
Getty Publications
Dimensions:
192 pages:

Categories:

In 1950, Dana Lamb, an explorer of some notoriety, stumbled on a Maya ruin in the tropical forests of northern Guatemala. Lamb failed to record the location of the site he called Laxtunich, turning his find into the mystery at the center of this book. The lintels he discovered there, long since looted, are probably of a set with two others that are among the masterworks of Maya sculpture from the Classic period. Using fieldwork, physical evidence, and Lamb's expedition notes, the authors identify a small area with archaeological sites where the carvings were likely produced. Remarkably, the vividly colored lintels, replete with dynastic and cosmic information, can be assigned to a carver, Mayuy, who sculpted his name on two of them. To an extent nearly unique in ancient America, Mayuy can be studied over time as his style developed and his artistic ambition grew. An in-depth analysis of Laxtunich Lintel 1 examines how Mayuy grafted celestial, seasonal, and divine identities onto a local magnate and his overlord from the kingdom of Yaxchilan, Mexico. This volume contextualizes the lintels and points the way to their reprovenancing and, as an ultimate aim, repatriation to Guatemala.

Stephen Houston is Dupee Family Professor of Social Sciences at Brown University.