Middle Formative Origins of the Early Classic Period Stela Cult

Author(s): David Freidel; Frank Reilly

Year: 2015


Stela are standing stones, incised or carved with iconographic or hieroglyphic information. Stelae vary in size from the portable to monumental stones. Some of the earliest examples of stelae were erected at the middle formative period site of La Venta. Undoubtedly, these La Venta stela, like their Maya counterparts, are linked to concepts of rulership and sacred cycles of time. A close iconographic analysis supports an interpretation that finds the origin of these early stela firmly rooted in the caches of polished green stone celts and or figurines and statues that carry incised symbols and motifs as secondary information.

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

Middle Formative Origins of the Early Classic Period Stela Cult. Frank Reilly, David Freidel. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396140)


La Venta Maya stela

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;