Review of: Stephen Houston (ed.), A Maya Universe in Stone

Yates, Donna (2022) Review of: Stephen Houston (ed.), A Maya Universe in Stone, Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2021 (192 p.). CAA Reviews.


(…) A Maya Universe in Stone, edited by Stephen Houston, is a welcome addition to a growing body of literature and practice which seeks to reprovenience looted and trafficked Maya antiquities. The book is focused on a pair of exquisitely sculpted Maya lintels which were made in the Usumacinta Region along the Mexico/Guatemala border and which date to between circa AD 769 and 783. The lintels depict courtly rituals being performed by local leaders in honor of Cheleew Chan K’inich of the Maya city of Yaxchilán, which is located on the riverine border between modern Guatemala and Mexico. The lintels are expertly and deeply rendered, showing people in elaborate finery interspersed with Maya text. The lintels are masterpieces of Maya sculpture and represent one of the only times a Maya artist signed their name to a work. These lintels were carved by Mayuy, and his name is a rare and precious link to the people behind such beautiful artistry.

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