Maya Archaeology Notes – 6 of 13

Development of Maya Power as seen through their iconography:

  • Archaeological records in Cerros does not have representations of humans as the center of their worldview.  Instead the worldview shows people as part of their worldview and not central.
  • Friedal theorizes that this period is when the shaman first gained power as charismatic leaders in Mayan worldview and cultural history.
  • Archaeological site Lamanai (100-150 AD) excavated by D. Pendegrast.  Masks found at site which represent humans assuming the position of power in their worldview.
  • Friedal theorizes that Lamanai represents the development of shaman’s power becoming more and more authoritative.
  • Hauberg Stela (199 AD) critical site showing first evidence of (1) writing system and (2) calendrical system.  These two elements show evidence of successors of rulers in Maya civilization legitimizing their authority.
  • This is a significant change in their understanding of power where rulers are legitimized over time shifting from charismatic leaders to legitimized sort of divine rule.  This period marks the beginning of the Early Classic Period.
  • The Hauberg Stela monument depicts the “vision serpent”, a symbol of the ancestor’s head pointing toward shamanism.

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