Black background vase with a painted scene of heart sacrifice of a male figure who may be Hun Hun Ajaw (the Maize god). Rising from his open chest cavity is an effigy incense burner topped by an offering plate containing burning strips of paper and a ball of copal incense. The sacrificed...
Black background vase with a painted scene of heart sacrifice of a male figure who may be Hun Hun Ajaw (the Maize god). Rising from his open chest cavity is an effigy incense burner topped by an offering plate containing burning strips of paper and a ball of copal incense. The sacrificed figure lies atop a stone altar, and a female figure seated in front of the altar bends forward at the waist and hides her head between her extended arms. Two buildings, rendered in profile, flank the sacrifice scene, their stone roofs embellished with the heads of the supernatural Paddler Twins. Inside one building a male figure sits on a red-painted bench throne, and a red-painted figure dances in front of the other building. He pulls on a white umbilicus-like cord that is held by a person inside the building and behind a codex that rests on a low zoomorphic bench or stand. An elderly male wearing a long cape made of feathers and knotted cording stands next to the sacrificed person on the altar. Six other figures, including two dwarfs, the Principle Bird Deity, and six animals (five rats and one bat) also are present. Hieroglyphic texts include the Primary Standard Sequence around the vase's rim and short phrases within the scene. One records the mythological Calendar Round date of the event, the phrase continuing to a second glyph block to the right that contains the verb (eroded) describing the event. A third short text names the red-painted figure pulling on the cord.
Primary Standard Sequence, short texts within the scene.
Collected between 1974 and 1981 by John Fulling, Art Collectors of November, Inc., Florida (and known as the "November Collection"); to Landon T. Clay, Boston, Massachusetts, in 1987; to MFA, December 1988, gift of Landon T. Clay.
Gift of Landon T. Clay
Maya, Late Classic Period, A.D. 650–800
Place of Manufacture
El Petén, Tikal-Uaxactún area, Guatemala
MS1122; Kerr 1377
25.4 x 15.3 cm (10 x 6 in.)
Medium or Technique
Earthenware: orange, red, dark pink, white, and black on cream slip paint