To Burn like the Sun: Rituals of Fire and Death among the Classic Maya
Author(s): Stephen Houston; Andrew Scherer
The dichotomies of hot and cold, light and darkness were essential to Classic Maya cosmology. The celestial and underworld journey of solar deities offered a fundamental mythic charter, and fire was the ultimate transformative force, providing a bridge between earthly and otherworldly realms. Such ideology is especially patent in rites of death, sacrifice, and veneration. Monuments from western kingdoms describe censing rituals performed months, years, and even decades after the death of important personages. Work at Piedras Negras demonstrates that even the long cold remains of the kings were activated by exposure to flame. In other kingdoms, fire was used to transform the most precious of mortuary offerings: the corporal remains of mourners and the bodies of sacrificed youths.
SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.
Cite this Record
To Burn like the Sun: Rituals of Fire and Death among the Classic Maya. Andrew Scherer, Stephen Houston. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395568)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
Fire • Maya • Mortuary archaeology
min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;