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The Seating of the Tun: Further Evidence concerning a Late Preclassic Lowland Maya Stela Cult

John S. Justeson and Peter Mathews
American Antiquity
Vol. 48, No. 3 (Jul., 1983), pp. 586-593
DOI: 10.2307/280565
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/280565
Page Count: 8
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The Seating of the Tun: Further Evidence concerning a Late Preclassic Lowland Maya Stela Cult
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Abstract

Hieroglyphic and comparative linguistic evidence indicate that a Lowland Maya stela cult had been in existence, with monuments being erected predominantly or exclusively at the end of the 360-day year, in Late Preclassic times. These data corroborate Hammond's (1982) evidence for Late Preclassic stela erection. With his demonstration that the stela cult was associated with public architecture and a sacrificial burial at Cuello, the inference that contemporaneous stelae were erected primarily at year-endings establishes the complete Lowland Maya form of the stela cult well before the end of the Late Preclassic. It indicates that the cult was contemporaneous with Pacific coastal and adjacent highland stela cults, and developed at least partially in independence of the latter.

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