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Cylinder vase

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The painting on this vase chronicles the accession to kingship of Yajawte' K'inich, an 8th-century ruler of the Ik' Polity (present-day Motul de San José), a powerful kingdom in ancient Guatemala. The date of his accession 7 Oc 13 Xul ( in the Maya Long Count calendar, or 25 May...

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The glyphic inscription along the rim describes and dates the accession rite of Yajawte' K'inich, ruler of the Ik' Polity, and additional inscriptions between the figures give the name of an Ik' nobleman, K'inich Lamaw Ek', and identify the artist of the vase, known as the Tuub'al Ajaw ("lord of the Tuub'al place").


1970s, in a collection outside of Guatemala [see note 1]. By 1981, in a collection in New York [see note 2]. By 1987 until at least 1994, Carol Meyer, New York [see note 3]. May 10, 2008, anonymous sale, Skinner, Boston, lot 37, to a private collector; 2009, gift of this private collector to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 25, 2009) NOTES: [1] Nicholas Hellmuth, who photographed Pre-Columbian objects in collections outside of Latin America, photographed the vase in the 1970s. [2] Justin Kerr photographed it in New York City in 1981 (no. K1463). [3] The vase was on loan to the Yale University Art Gallery during this time.

Credit Line

Anonymous gift

Maya, Late Classic Period, A.D. 740–775

Place of Manufacture

Ik' polity, Motul de San José area, Department of El Petén, Guatemala


Overall: 10.5 x 10.2 cm (4 1/8 x 4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware with polychrome slip paint on white slip ground




Ceramics, Pottery, Earthenware