Postclassic Murals of Mayapan as a Mirror of Cultural Transformation

Author(s): Carlos Peraza Lope; Susan Milbrath

Year: 2015


The changing pictorial imagery in the murals of Mayapan offers a rich picture of cultural transformation in Postclassic Yucatan. The archaeological chronology of Mayapan and comparisons with murals elsewhere in Mesoamerica provide an anchor for the mural chronology. Between 1350 and 1400, Mayapan’s murals represent imagery that apparently was inspired by different sources. One mural program can be compared with the hybrid Maya painting style of the Madrid Codex, which also uses the same pigments seen in Mayapan murals. Other murals that seem to be later are more closely linked with the Mixtec Codex Nuttall and Mixteca-Puebla pottery. The last phases of architecture at the site can be associated with evidence of contact with the Valley of Mexico, also apparent in Landa’s account that the Cocom Maya rulers fostered trade with the Mexicans to increase their own wealth, and later resorted to Mexican mercenaries to support their reign. Maya accounts in the Chilam Balam books note that the foreigners began to "afflict" the people of Mayapan in Katun 1 Ahau (A.D. 1382-1401). Between 1400 and 1450, Aztec artists introduced stylistic changes in sculpture, architecture and mural painting that ultimately resulted in a revolt against the foreign intrusion.

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Cite this Record

Postclassic Murals of Mayapan as a Mirror of Cultural Transformation. Susan Milbrath, Carlos Peraza Lope. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396334)


Maya Postclassic Trade

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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