MAYAVASE Research Material
Carved pebble Stela 7 cache, Copan, Honduras Early Classic period, A.D. 400600 Jade 20 x 12 x 4 cm Courtesy of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, New York
The carving style of this jade does not rank with the best examples of Early Classic art, but the image is a powerful representation of a Maya king. Leaving the water worn stone untouched on the rear, the artist teased the front view figure from the natural curves of the jade pebble. The king's earflares are suspended from his ears, rather than from headdress flanges, and above his squarecut bangs, he wears a headband marked by the glyph cab "earth." Double scrolls, perhaps referring to smoke, blood, or foliation, emerge from the cab sign, and a knot with side ribbons sits atop it. His ankles, wrists and waist are decorated by simple bead strands. A disk and cylinder pendants hang from the waist strand, and he wears a shell pectoral on a bead necklace. He holds his hands in the regal pose usually reserved for holding the Serpent Bar, but instead he holds an odd crosshatched object with four pointed shapes suspended below and flame like scrolls rising above, that is presumed to be a scepter.