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Middle Formative Origins of the Early Classic Period Stela Cult

Author(s): David Freidel ; Frank Reilly

Year: 2015

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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.

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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 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America