Subterranean sculptural narratives of ancient Maya mythological beliefs

Author(s): Cameron Griffith; Nikolai Grube

Year: 2016


In this paper we present recent analyses conducted on the elaborate artwork in Actun Halal, an important ancient Maya cave site in western Belize. Actun Halal contains a wide variety of art forms, ranging from monumental modified speleothem sculptures four meters in height to small, detailed bas-relief sculptural works executed in layers of travertine only millimeters thick. Akin to the elegant scenes rendered in murals and on polychrome pottery vessels, the sculptural works in Actun Halal tell a vibrant story with prominent actors in ancient Maya mythology such as the Fire God and the Jester God. The research presented here details our most recent insights into this complex sculptural narrative.

Cite this Record

Subterranean sculptural narratives of ancient Maya mythological beliefs. Cameron Griffith, Nikolai Grube. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403346)


Art Caves Maya

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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