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Saturday Art and Archaeology: Stela 9 at Lamanai, Belize

Representation of the image on Stela 9 that is displayed at the Archaeological Museum in Belize City, Belize.

The Mayan temple relics in Lamanai, Belize, contain a remarkable Stela that has preserved carving from the 6th Century A.D. that have remained decipherable by an accident, falling on its carved side so that the image and heiroglyphic writing have been preserved.  The Stela appears to have stood for six centuries, although in disuse for the latter part of that time.  Sacrifices that relate to the monument indicate its special significance, also.

D. Pendergast recovered Stela 9 beneath a shallow deposit of soil.  The structure as well as the carved stone monument was destroyed sometime after the Late Classic period, luckily it landed face down on the front lower central stairs of the structure which already had soil accumulated on it.  Because of this the extremely fine, shallow carving of this important object was mostly preserved.  It contains invaluable hieroglyphs and iconographic information about Lamanai.

(snip)

Structure N10-27 – Stela 9, Classic Period – Lamanai, Belize

Classic period carved stone monument, March 2003 recent decipherment by epigrapher Simon Martin did not change the original two dates recorded on the monument determined by Michael Closs of AD 608 & 625 – but does change the individuals we think may be being discussed from Lord Smoking Shell to Yopaat and Sun Shark – it is not clear if the main figure is the dead lord Yopaat or the current ruler (actually more like King, a rare title of East Kaloomte’) dressed in royal regalia that actually is very old-fashioned, see below for more information – with this in mind we’d lean toward the figure representing Yopaat after his death.

The Stela is kept in the museum in Lamanai so that it will not deteriorate further because of weathering. A replica is on display at the site where it had stood in past centuries.

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Saturday Art and Archaeology: Stela 9 at Lamanai, Belize

Representation of the image on Stela 9 that is displayed at the Archaeological Museum in Belize City, Belize.

Stela 9 stands as it was excavated from Lamanai temple relics in the Archaeology Museum there.

The Mayan temple relics in Lamanai, Belize, contain a remarkable Stela that has preserved carving from the 6th Century A.D. that have remained decipherable by an accident, falling on its carved side so that the image and heiroglyphic writing have been preserved.  The Stela appears to have stood for six centuries, although in disuse for the latter part of that time.  Sacrifices that relate to the monument indicate its special significance, also.

D. Pendergast recovered Stela 9 beneath a shallow deposit of soil.  The structure as well as the carved stone monument was destroyed sometime after the Late Classic period, luckily it landed face down on the front lower central stairs of the structure which already had soil accumulated on it.  Because of this the extremely fine, shallow carving of this important object was mostly preserved.  It contains invaluable hieroglyphs and iconographic information about Lamanai.

(snip)

Structure N10-27 – Stela 9, Classic Period – Lamanai, Belize

Classic period carved stone monument, March 2003 recent decipherment by epigrapher Simon Martin did not change the original two dates recorded on the monument determined by Michael Closs of AD 608 & 625 – but does change the individuals we think may be being discussed from Lord Smoking Shell to Yopaat and Sun Shark – it is not clear if the main figure is the dead lord Yopaat or the current ruler (actually more like King, a rare title of East Kaloomte’) dressed in royal regalia that actually is very old-fashioned, see below for more information – with this in mind we’d lean toward the figure representing Yopaat after his death.

The Stela is kept in the museum in Lamanai so that it will not deteriorate further because of weathering. A replica is on display at the site where it had stood in past centuries. (more…)

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Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.