All in Good Time: the "New Highland Chronology" and the Sculptures of Kaminaljuyú, Guatemala

Author(s): Lucia Henderson

Year: 2015


This paper considers the impact of the new highland chronology proposed by Dr. Inomata on prevailing interpretations of the stone sculptures of Kaminaljuyú. The revised chronology moves the archaeological record of Kaminaljuyú approximately 300 years forward, shifting the site’s sculptures to a wholly new cultural and chronological framework. This paper begins the process of re-contextualizing the art of Kaminaljuyú by investigating the ways in which the new chronology disrupts and/or supports prior interpretations and analyses of sculpture from the site. It focuses on two major sculptural styles: full-round sculptures known as "potbellies" and bas-relief sculptures carved in a Maya style. The former, now dated to ca. 400BC-100AD, appear to reflect localized belief systems about sacred landscape and power, while the latter, now dated to ca. 100BC-250AD reveal new and evolving concepts about kingship that crossed broad cultural and regional divides. By re-positioning these two sculptural traditions in time, the paper serves as a preliminary consideration of the ways in which the new highland chronology forces us to reframe our interpretations of art and ideology at ancient Kaminaljuyú.

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Cite this Record

All in Good Time: the "New Highland Chronology" and the Sculptures of Kaminaljuyú, Guatemala. Lucia Henderson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397094)


Geographic Keywords
Central America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.702; min lat: 6.665 ; max long: -76.685; max lat: 18.813 ;