Profane Illuminations: Molded Maya Figurines in Comparative Context

Author(s): Christina Halperin

Year: 2017


In many ways, simple molded Maya figurines during the Late Classic period become ordinary objects, aided in part by the technological capability of reproduction through molds. Nonetheless, molds do not automatically create ordinary, accessible, everyday objects, and, in turn, ordinary objects are not without their ability to delight and affect the senses. This paper draws on newly collected ceramic production evidence from the site of Ucanal, Guatemala, as well as a compilation of research on figurines from elsewhere in Peten, Guatemala, to explore the technological, spiritual, and sensual aspects of ceramic figurines. In comparing molded figurines from the Late/Terminal Classic period with figurines from the Preclassic and Postclassic periods, the paper explores how the value of mold technologies – and concepts of the ordinary – change over the longue durée.

Cite this Record

Profane Illuminations: Molded Maya Figurines in Comparative Context. Christina Halperin. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430010)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14592