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A Re-examination of the Mesoamerican Chacmool

Mary Ellen Miller
The Art Bulletin
Vol. 67, No. 1 (Mar., 1985), pp. 7-17
Published by: College Art Association
DOI: 10.2307/3050884
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3050884
Page Count: 11
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A Re-examination of the Mesoamerican Chacmool
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Abstract

Mesoamerican chacmool sculptures have long been considered of Central Mexican origin, introduced to the Maya region during the Toltec era. A search of antecedents, however, reveals Maya sources for the form, location, variety, and iconography of the chacmool. The chacmool can be seen to have the same posture as Classic Maya captive figures, and, in association with thrones, chacmools replace the "altars" where such captive figures are inscribed. Furthermore, the Tlaloc imagery of the chacmool during late Postclassic times would seem to derive not from the Central Mexican Tlaloc but rather from the Tlaloc of the Classic Maya, who associated this figure with war and sacrifice.

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