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The Royal Ball Game of the Ancient Maya:

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An Epigrapher’s View
Alexandre Tokovinine

Department of Anthropology
(Archaeology Wing)
GSAS, Harvard University


The paper reviews the present concept of the Classic Maya ball game and offers some new interpretations of the latter, which are based on the analysis of the epigraphic material

The aim of this paper is to review the present concept of the Classic Maya ball game and to offer some new interpretations based on the analysis of the epigraphic material. Recent advancements in the decipherment of the Maya script have made this research possible.

Few aspects of the ancient Maya culture have attracted as much scholarly and public attention as the royal ball game tradition. There is little doubt about the importance of the ball game in the life of the Maya. Every major city of the Classic period (AD 250-909) had at least one ball court, while the largest centers boasted several playing grounds. The ball game imagery was an essential element of the Maya concept of representing royalty in the monumental art. The inscriptions frequently praised the king’s valor as a master ball player.

However, despite a great deal of thorough research on the Maya ball game, the scholars are still far from fully understanding its complicate symbolism and possible social or political aspects. Probably, the insufficiency of the available data hampers further studies. Unlike the well-documented Aztec ball game, the Maya one is mentioned only twice in the early colonial Yucatan sources. First, Diego de Landa briefly notes a kind of ball game played in the youths’ houses (Tozzer 1941: 124). He does not specify what sort of ‘ball game’ it is and whether this game could be played elsewhere. A second mention, now of Maya origin, comes from the Dresden codex (41a), (After moving to a Figure, use your browser's back button to return) where a rain god Chaak is depicted sitting in the ball court with an accompanying pitsil Chaak (“ball player Chaak”) caption that confirms the iconography interpretation. This part of the manuscript, however, dates back to the early Post-classic, what makes the above mentioned passage hardly applicable to the 16th century data. Another frustrating fact is that there is no late post-classic site with a formal ball court. Therefore, the famed Maya ball game tradition might have disappeared even before the Spaniards arrived in Yucatan.

For several decades the only historical ‘key’ to the archaeology and iconography of the Classic Maya ball game had been a version of the hero twins myth recorded by Francisco Ximenez in Chichicastenango (Highland Guatemala) as a part of Popol Vuh (Tedlock 1985). Coe pointed out a similarity if not continuity between the classic mythology and the story of the hero-twins Hun Ahpu and Xbalanque (Coe 1989)1. Schele’s reconstruction of the mythic and ritual context of the Maya ball game laid the groundwork for any later research (Shele and Miller 1986; Schele 1987; Schele and Grube 1990; Freidel et al 1993).

A common interpretation would emphasize the Venus cycle and the Maize God death-and-resurrection myth as core religious aspects of the game. The ancient Maya are believed to reenact, through the ball game, the mythic Underworld contest between the gods of life or fertility and the gods of death. This may have been an agriculture-related ritual or an apotheosis of the military conquest. Archaeologically, that twofold symbolism may be represented by the so-called ‘creation’ and ‘three-conquest’ ball courts, or by re-lated hieroglyphic stairways.2

It is not easy to blend this concept with the epigraphic data. Presently, four hux-’ahaal or “three-conquest” ball courts and stairs are known (Fig. 1). However, the dedicatory inscriptions of these structures do not contain any direct reference to the hero-twins.

A closer examination of the ‘three-conquest’ story itself is quite discouraging as there are no immedi-ate similarities between this myth and Popol Vuh. In the only full version of the ‘three conquest’ myth, inscribed on the 7th step of the hieroglyphic stair in Yaxchilan (Chiapas, Mexico), the story takes shape as a sequence of the three beheadings (ch’ak-baah), which happen in the immeasurably distant mythic past (Fig. 4). The first beheaded one is the Maize God, while the other two remain unrecognized, their names undeci-phered. All the beheadings take place on the ‘three-conquest stair’ of the Black-Water-Place (’Ik’-Way-Nal) in Wakminal, which is assumed to be the same kind of place as the newly built stair. In Copan (see below) the latter place name was associated with the ball game played by Ju’n ’Ajaw. Thus, of all the Popol Vuh characters only the Maize God and Ju’n ’Ajaw (Hun Ahpu) hero twin might have something to do with the ‘three-conquest’ story. Even if we assume the latter point, it would be hard to relate the Popol Vuh story to the rest of the text, where it is stated that in the dedicatory ball game sacrifice the king of Yaxchilan impersonates yet another deity with no Popol Vuh counterpart -Yax-Chiit-Ju’n-Winik-Nah-Kan.

The present understanding of the Maya ball game tradition also centers on the inscription on the marker of the Copan ball court A (Fig.2b). This text is supposed to state that king Waxaklaju’n ’U-baah K’awiil plays ball in order to reenact a mythic contest between Ju’n ’Ajaw (Hun Ahpu) and ‘Mixnal’ (a title of the Classic Maya god of sacrifice).

The text visibly consists of the two captions (Fig. 2a), which can be read as ’u-ba-hi JUN ’AJAW WAK-mi-[NAL] u-baah Ju’n ’Ajaw Wakminal “this is the self of Ju’n ’Ajaw (in?) Wakminal” and ’u-ba WAXAKLAJUN ’u-ba K’AWILu-ba[ah] Waxaklaju’n ’U-ba[ah] K’awiil “this is the self of Waxaklaju’n-’U-baah-K’awiil.” The second caption explicitly identifies the king as ‘Mixnal’. Therefore, Waxaklaju’n ’U-baah K’awiil does not impersonate one of the hero twins.

Another monument, crucial for the supposed mythological continuity is La Esperanza (‘Chinkultic’) ball court marker (Fig. 2b). The image on latter has long been recognized as that of ‘Mixnal’ striking the ball with an inscribed head of Ju’n ’Ajaw. However, the inscription undermines this interpretation.

The text along the rim of the marker consists of a Long Count date (, a Calendar Round date (11 Ix 7 Zotz), and a verb t’ab “to ascend” referring to the dedication either of the ball court or of this par-ticular monument. The second inscription consists of the two columns accompanying the central figure:

(M1) ’u-ba (M2) ta ’OCH-K’AK’ (M3) ? (N1) K’INICH (N2) ?-lu (N3) CHAN-’AJAW ’u-ba[ah] ta’ ’ochk’a[h]k’ …-K’i[h]nich … Chan ’Ajaw “…this is his self in the fire-entering (dedication), …-K’ihnich … the sky lord.”5

There can be only one interpretation: both texts refer to the same dedication act that includes a symbolic ball game. The protagonist is a local lord, not a mythic character.

If human sacrifice is mentioned in connection with the ball game, no immediate parallels between the ritual depicted and the Popol Vuh can be found, except the ‘captive-as-a-ball’ motif, which is too generic to be attributed specifically to this myth. The full account on such sacrifice is given on the La Amelia hieroglyphic panels (Schele and Grube 1990: 3-5) depicting post-game rituals (Fig. 6a) performed by the king in commemoration of several events including the dedication of a new stair. There, the victim is “thrown” as the ball of the holy king: “… he was thrown (rolled down), the captor of Balamnal, “nine palms” is his name, … he is the ball (“the wrapped thing”) of ’Ajtob-’Ajaw, holy king of Mutal, bakab.” Besides, a supernatural character, discovered by Grube and Nahm, should be mentioned. This ‘companion spirit’ or way is named bala’n-chan-winik or “wrapped-sky-man” (Grube and Nahm 1994: 711) and his visual association with the ‘captive-as-a-ball’ theme is explicit (Fig. 6b).

In summary, with the major supporting arguments gone, it is no longer possible to assume that there is a direct correspondence between the Classic ball game tradition and the Popol Vuh story. Therefore, ar-chaeological and epigraphic data are of paramount importance for any research on the actual ‘cosmological’ context and the social aspects of the game.

The first issue that can be clarified with the help of the hieroglyphic texts is who could be an actual ‘owner’ of the ball courts and ball game stairs, or to what group of individuals or supernatural characters these structures could be dedicated.

According to the recent publications on the archaeology and epigraphy of Copan (Kowalski and Fash 1986; Williamson 1993; Fash 1997; Fash 1998: 230-233), the establishment of a locus for the game is likely mentioned in the inscription on the round marker set in the plaza floor before the ‘Motmot’ structure in the vicinity of the ball court. Both buildings are dedicated to the founder of the dynasty K’ihnich Yax K’uk’ Mo’, whose emblems adorn all the later versions of the court (Fig. 3a-c).

One of the Yaxchilan ball courts is also dedicated to the royal ancestors. According to Tate (Tate 1993: 59-62), the “five k’atun” title of Itsamnaah Bahlam II, whose image within a cartouche in the likeness of the double-headed Chapaat Chan is carved on the marker “b” of the court, suggests that the monument could be committed after the death of the king (Fig. 3d). The Yaxchilan ‘three-conquest’ stair, discussed earlier, also provides an ancestral framework for the game as the sixth and eighth steps of the stair (Fig. 5 a, b) depict the king’s father and grandfather performing ball game sacrifices.

The living can also ‘own’ ball game playing grounds. The abovementioned ‘three-conquest’ stair, which is roughly contemporaneous with the ball court, whose markers lack any date, is dedicated to the ruling holy lord, Yaxuun Bahlam IV. A text from Tonina (Fig. 1b) also states that a newly built ball court ‘belongs’ to the king, who has committed it:

(D3) ’i-’EL-NAH-ja WUK-’IK’-K’AN-NAL-la (C4) HUX-’a-ha-li {BALL COURT}-na ’u-{BALL COURT}-na (D4) ya-’AJAW-te pi-tsi-la (C5) K’INICH-BAK-NAL-[CHAK] (D5) K’UH po ’AJAW-wa

…’i-’elnaahaj Wuk-’Ik’-K’a[h]nal hux ’ahaal … ’u-… yajawte’ pitsil K’i[h]nich-Baaknal-Chaak k’uh[ul] Po[po’] ’ajaw

“… and then is dedicated (‘house-burnt’) the “Seven-Black-Benches-Place,” the ‘three-conquest’ ball court, the ball court of the yajawte’, the ball player, K’ihnich Baaknal Chaak, holy (divine) king of Popo’. ”

Therefore, the location of the game is clearly associated with power and royal authority. Supernatural characters are never mentioned as the ‘owners’ of ball courts or ball game stairs. However, it is possible to reconstruct a list of deities related to the game if yet another group of inscriptions is considered. These are references to the rituals of impersonation performed in the ball game.

As it has been pointed out by Houston and Stuart, impersonation could play a major role in the Classic Maya religious life (Houston and Stuart 1996: 297-300). Some rituals required kings and high nobles to assume the images and the identities of particular gods, although in most cases the reasons of choosing a god to be impersonated in a certain ritual remain unknown (Houston and Stuart 1996: 300).

Impersonating a deity is not merely acting on his or her behalf. Rather, it signifies that a human being becomes a temporal embodiment of the divine character that possesses the impersonator and acts on his own will. Therefore, in the case of the ball game impersonations, a scholar can actually get a list of the deities who play ball as one of their characteristic activities. One may distinguish further between the ‘local’ and the ‘generic’ supernatural ball players.

The largest account on ball game impersonations is provided by the inscriptions and images of the same ‘three-conquest’ stair of Yaxchilan. Besides the main dedication event and some references to the an-cestors discussed above, the relieves on the steps of the stair represent a series of the so-called ‘vision rites’ and the ball games performed by several nobles (sahalob) wearing masks, which in conjunction with at least one intelligible glyphic caption allow identifying these ball players as impersonators of deities.

One of these supernatural beings is the wind god. The ball player wears a very characteristic mask and the accompanying inscription, albeit poorly preserved, does include the deity’s name - ’Ik’ K’uh, “Wind God” (Fig. 7a). The recognition of other masks remains problematic without any glyphic ‘hints’ (Fig. 7b). It could be the rain god (Chaak) or even his particular Yaxchilan incarnation, K’ahk’-’O-Chaak - a skull-headed deity with large ‘goggles’ and with flames instead of lower jaw (Fig. 5c). The rain god involved in the ball game does not occur in Yaxchilan only. The Dresden codex passage, as it has already been mentioned, offers Chaak’s explicit reference to the game (Fig. 7d). Additionally, the markers of the Tenam Rosario ball court (Fox 1994) depict the impersonators of Tlaloc, a counterpart of Chaak, with a protruding element similar to that on the Yaxchilan ball players’ masks (Fig. 7c).

Interestingly, the name of Yaxuun Bahlam’s grandfather in the text on the eighth step of the stair is spelled quite unusually as it mentions Wuk-Chapaat-Chan-K’ihnich-’Ajaw. This is not part of the name phrase of the king known from other Yaxchilan inscriptions. One would speculate that the grandfather merely impersonated Wuk-Chapaat-Chan-K’ihnich-’Ajaw, though it is not stated in the text directly.

Nevertheless, the most impersonated divine ball player is the so-called ‘old deer god,’ recognizable for his man-deer traits. This is a god of hunting and feasting. His Post-classic counterpart is known as Wuk-Si’p, while the Classic name consists of number seven and a sign representing his bearded head, sometimes with a phonetic complement -wa. Whatever his other functions might be, the deity is clearly ‘generic,’ closely associated with the Underworld and such ‘elder’ gods as L and N.

Strong epigraphic evidence confirming his role as one of the principle divine patrons of the ball game can be found in Copan. There is an inscription on the vessel published by Kerr and first mentioned by Grube (Grube 1992) (Fig. 8a). The scene likely represents a local king (Yax Pasaj Chan Yopaat) dancing after the ball game, his face hidden behind an ‘old deer god’ mask while the text states:

(A3) ’AK’-ta-ji (B3) ti pi-tsi-li (C1) xu-’u (C2) YAX-pa (C3) sa-ja (D1) CHAN-na YOP-[’AT]-ti (E1) ?-pi ’AJAW (D2) NOHOL CHAN-na (E2) yo-YOK’IN-ni (D3) ba-ka-ba (E3) ch’a-HOM-ma (F1) ’u-ba-li-’AN (F2) WUK-?-wa (F3) ti pi-tsi

…’ak’taj ti pitsil xu’ Yax Pasaj Chan Yopaat … ’ajaw nohol chan yok’in bakab ch’ajo’m ’u-ba[ah]il-a’n Wuk ..w ti’ pits

“... he danced with a ball game xu’, Yax Pasaj Chan Yopaat, the king of … (Copan kingdom), southern sky yok’in, bakab, the sprinkler; he is the impersonator of Wuk … in the ball game.”

The ‘old deer god’ patronage of the ball game at Copan can be traced not only for the reign of Yax Pasaj, but also for the days of Waxaklaju’n ’U-baah K’awiil. A previously unidentified left-hand side figure on the south marker of A IIb has a ‘deer ear’ and a ‘pointed bearded chin’ - well recognizable ‘old deer god’ traits (Fig. 2a).

Apart from the famous but unique mention of Ju’n ’Ajaw playing ball against ‘Mixnal,’ the impersonation of Wuk ...w in the ball game is cited on the vessel (K1383) from another Maya site, as the king of Rio Azul is said to impersonate the deity in chalaju’n nab, probably a local version of the game (Fig. 8b):

(C1) ’u-ba-li-’AN (D1) WUK-? (E1) ti CHALAJUN NAB-ba (F1) TSAK-ja (F2) K’AWIL (F3) nu-? (F4) HO’ PET HUX-HAB-te (F5) ba-ka-b(a)

… ’u-ba[ah]il-a’n Wuk … ti’ chalaju’n nab Tsakaj K’awiil ... Ho’ Pet Huxhaabte’ bakab

“...he is the impersonator of Wuk … in the “twelve palms” Tsakaj K’awiil, lord of Ho’ Pet Hux-haabte’, bakab.

Moreover, a nearly identical passage (except the name of the impersonator) occurs in the text on the vessel (K635) from the site of Naranjo. The protagonist in the latter text is additionally ‘labeled’ as a ball player. Yet another inscription of similar content comes from the site of El Peru (Fig. 8c). There, the dedicatory phrase similar to that of Yaxchilan ({STONE-IN-HAND}-na-ja ’EB-[bu]?) is preceded by the ball game event and the impersonation of the hunting god.

The close connection of the deity of hunting and feasting with the ball game places the latter in a wider ceremonial sequence. This correlates with some activity-related deposits from the ball courts sampled by Fox (Fox 1996: 485-487, 490-493). For example, on top of and behind Copan ball court B structures fragments of at least 6 jars, dense scatters of censer fragments, dense concentrations of green obsidian blades and projectile points were recovered. Various locations in the Piedras Negras South Group ball court vicinity contained large bottle-necked vessels, bowls, cylindrical vessels, ceramic ‘counters’, cylindrical manos, chert and obsidian tools, opossum, peccary, deer, and turtle bones. Around the smaller Tonina ball court manos, metates, obsidian projectile points, blades, flakes were found.

Scenes on polychrome ceramics also prompt a broader vision of the game in the context of the life at the royal court. A good example is the vessel from Hixwits (K2803) with a distinct ‘ball game scene’ (Fig. 9). Its owner, as it is stated in the text along the rim of the vessel (O1-P1), is a certain “young warrior from Hix-wits” (ch’ok Hixwits bate’ (O1-P1). Nevertheless, a caption in the vertical column refers to another royal person, probably one of the ball players:

(R1) ’u-ba-hi (R2) ta [pi]-tsi (R3) CHAK ch’o-ko (R4) ke-KELEM (R5) SAK-MUWAN-ni (R6) K’UH ’IK’ ’AJAW-wa

…’u-baah ta pits chak ch’ok kelem Sak-Muwaan k’uh[ul] ’Ik’ ’ajaw”

“…this is his self (image) in the ball game, strong youth, Sak Muwaan, holy (divine) king of ’Ik’ (Motul de San Jose).”

It can be supposed, that the vessel was dedicated to commemorate Sak Muwaan’s visit to Hixwits or the game played by that “young warrior” in the court of the king of Ik’. Significantly, there is no warfare or sacrifice involved. Another vessel, K3842, offers a visual relation of the ball game (lower register) to giving or presenting precious gifts (upper register) (Fig. 10a).

An unusual scene on the Dos-Pilas hieroglyphic stair is also worth mentioning. The two groups in a distinct ball game outfit are represented with the two bundles between them, which could be balls as in the Popol Vuh story. However, a better interpretation would be that these bundles contain royal gifts or some pre-cious objects for ball game stakes (Fig. 10b).

A Chichen-Itza case is worth our particular attention. There, the twelve ‘typical’ ball courts, located within different elite groups, are dwarfed by the truly megalithic Great Ball Court. According to Boot (Boot 2000), the major theme of the Great Ball court imagery recalls the so-called toma de posesion ceremonies, the installment of the new ruling lineage and the accession of the founder’s successors. A similar iconography is present in the earlier ball courts, especially the Mercado and the Monjas ones (Knorchok and Freidel 1994: 369-373). Interestingly, in the latter’s northwest corner some remains of related activities were found: a midden containing 12 gallons of sherds and 33 obsidian blades (Fox 1996: 492). Therefore, it may be assumed that the initial stage of the ball game tradition in Chichen-Itza implied competitive feasts and toma de posesion ceremonies, strengthening particular elites and forming a network of contacts between them. One would speculate that the drastic political consolidation resulted in the replacement of those competitive single group-enforcing rites by a new ball game ceremonialism, emphasizing the identity and the integrity of the community as a whole, while the elite ball game tradition was deliberately eliminated.

Discussion and Conclusions.

As it has been proposed by Stuart, most monumental inscriptions are in essence dedicatory statements (Stuart 1995: 99-118, 155; 1998: 374-376). The evidences suggest that the ball game events recorded could be part of broader dedication rituals. Consequently, the human sacrifices mentioned or depicted could be in fact dedicatory, that is, associated with the ball court and its specific functions as a locus for the game (of this such a special form of sacrifice), but not with the ball game itself. The holy king would perform that sacrifice as a ‘symbolic ball game’ in a sequence of various dedicatory ceremonies. If this is true, was there a proper ball game sacrifice at all?

Another highly problematic point is the validity of the Popol Vuh story for reconstructing the classic ball game related myths and rituals, questioned in this paper. Of course, one should not dismiss retrospective reconstructions, but it seems that the ‘cosmic ball game’ would not correlate with the available epigraphic data.

Some Aztec parallels would be worthy in this case. Several legends with ‘strong ball game presence’ are known: a version of Huitzilopochtli myth recorded by Tezozomoc (Tezozomoc 1878: 227-229); a story of Topiltzin and a tlachtli model as written by Ixtlilxochitl (Ixtlilxochitl 1975: 279); the ball game of Quetzalcoatl versus Tezcatlipoca (when the latter turned into a “tiger”) recorded by Mendieta (Mendieta 1870: 82; Stern 1966: 67); the ball game between Huemac and the tlalocs as told in the codex Chimalpopoca (Bierhorst 1992: 156). What these stories have in common is that they are unique (regional?) versions of the wide-spread and otherwise ‘ball game-free’ myths. What is universal for these and other ball game occurrences in Aztec sources, pictographic codices included (Krickeberg 1966; Nicholson and Keber 1991), is that the ball game may be a ‘framework’ for any story involving competition, engagement, and that the ball court is a special, often magic location for it. As such an inserted framework’, ball game has not much to do with any of the stories it ‘frames,’ rather, ‘framing’ signifies the continual importance of the game in a particular community. Of course, the ‘proper’ ball game deities, like Amapan and Uapatzan, mentioned by Sahagun (Anderson and Dibble 1981: 145), were more constant.

It is tempting to speculate that a similar ‘framing’ occurred with the Maya ball game tradition. The myths, referred to in the dedication ceremonies, are likely different. Of several deities impersonated in the game, only the hunting god is mentioned constantly. As for the Popol Vuh story, the ball game there might well be a result of regional ‘framing.’ A famed K’ekchi’ performance of the hero twins story celebrating the foundation of San Juan Chamelco in 1543 (Coe 1989: 161-162), for instance, has not a single reference to the ball game. Thus, the latter is not the ‘core’ of the myth.

The Maya ball game cannot be separated from the Pan-Mesoamerican tradition, where this game is primarily a way to settle disputes, to mediate relationships between various groups on different levels. For the Maya the competitive ball game tradition and related rituals were of no lesser importance than for others, notably the Aztecs.

The epigraphic sources on the Maya ball game do provide the data that prove the latter point. There is a strong association between the ball courts and royal authority. The only prominent ball playing deity is the god of hunting and feasting and there is evidence of some hunting and feasting-related activities in the vicinities of the ball courts. Texts and images on the polychrome ceramics present the ball game as an essential part of the life at the royal court and probably even as a way of establishing contacts between different dynasties.

List of Figures

Fig. 1: Three-conquest ball courts and stairs in the inscriptions; a) Yaxchilan, b) Tonina, c) Naranjo, d) Copan. Drawing by Linda Schele (Schele Drawing Archive, # 4016 & 4078).

Fig. 2a: Ball court AIIb markers, drawing by Barbara Fash (after Kowalski and Fash 1991: Fig. 6); the text on the central marker; representations of ‘Mixnal,’ drawing by Linda Schele (after Schele 1987: 2)

Fig. 2b: La Esperanza (Chinkultic) marker. Drawing by Linda Schele (Schele Drawing Archive, # 7318).

Fig. 3a: Copan Ball court A, early and late (after Freidel et al 1993: Fig. 8:19).

Fig. 3b: The location of the ‘Motmot’ marker (after Fash 1998: Fig. 2)

Fig. 3c: The representations of Yax K’uk’Mo’: Ball court A1, ‘Motmot’ marker (drawing by Barbara Fash), ‘Rosalia’ structure (after Fash 1998: Fig. 1, 3, 5; Fash 1997: Fig. 5, 4).

Fig. 3d: Yaxchilan ball court (structure 14) and its marker ‘b,’ drawing by Carolyn Tate (after Tate 1993: Fig. 66).

Fig. 4: Yaxchilan HS II, Step VII. Drawing by Ian Graham (Graham 1982: 160).

Fig. 5a: Yaxchilan HS II, Step VI. Drawing by Ian Graham (Graham 1982: 159).

Fig. 5b: Yaxchilan HS II, Step VIII. Drawing by Ian Graham (Graham 1982: 162).

Fig. 5c: The masks representing K’ahk’-’O-Chaak on the Yaxchilan lintel 25. Drawing by Ian Graham (Gra-ham 1977: 55).

Fig. 6a: La Amelia hieroglyphic panel 2 (after Freidel et al 1993: Fig. 8:17b, c).

Fig. 6b: Balan Chan Winik as depicted on the vessel K3924 (after Grube and Nahm 1994: Fig. 53a).

Fig. 7a: Yaxchilan HS II, Step X Drawing by Ian Graham (Graham 1982: 163).

Fig. 7b: Yaxchilan HS II, Step IV & XII Drawing by Ian Graham (Graham 1982: 157, 164).

Fig. 7c: Marker 2 from Structure III, Tenam Rosario (after Fox 1994: Fig. 3).

Fig. 7d: Dresden Codex, 41a.

Fig. 8: a) K3296, inscription only (Maya Vase Database. An archive of rollout photographs created by Justin Kerr,; b) K1383, a fragment of the inscription (Maya Vase Database); c) El Peru HS (an unpublished preliminary drawing).

Fig. 9: K2803 (Maya Vase Database).

Fig. 10: a) K3842 (Maya Vase Database); b) Dos Pilas HS 1, Step 1, rubbing by Merle Green Robertson (The Rubbing of Maya Sculpture database, #23762) & drawing by Steve Houston.

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