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Belt Ornament with Head of an Ancestor


Not on view

Kooj K’inich Yo’nal Ahk acceded to the throne at Piedras Negras (in what is now Guatemala) in A.D. 687 and ruled for more than forty years. This jade belt plaque, probably representing one of his ancestors, has two hieroglyphic inscriptions on the reverse commemorating his reign. The carving was so celebrated that the sculptor was allowed to sign it, creating perhaps the only known signature of a Precolumbian lapidary (jade worker). The ornament was deposited in the Sacred Cenote, some three hundred miles from Piedras Negras.

Kooj K’inich Yo’nal Ahk accedió al trono en Piedras Negras (actual Guatemala) en el año 687 a. C. y gobernó durante más de cuarenta años. Esta placa de cinturón, que representa probablemente a uno de sus ancestros, tiene dos inscripciones jeroglíficas en el reverso que conmemoran su reino. El esculpido de este objeto fue tan célebre en aquella época que se le concedió el permiso de firmar su nombre al escultor, quizás la única firma conocida en jade. El adorno fue depositado en el Cenote Sagrado, a unas 300 millas (500 km) de Piedras Negras.

Belt Ornament with Head of an Ancestor, Jadeite , Maya

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