Changing Faces: Evolutions in Art at Kaminaljuyu, Guatemala

Author(s): Lucia Henderson

Year: 2017


The site of Kaminaljuyu experienced intensive ideological and material cultural change from the Preclassic through the early Classic period. Certain artistic forms and ideological precepts, however, simultaneously demonstrate remarkable continuity. This talk focuses specifically on public messages communicated through stone sculpture as well as, to a lesser degree, messages communicated by elite and royal funerary contexts in order to access continuity and change in Kaminaljuyu’s archaeological and art historical record. This talk argues that shifts in elite material culture and public art reflect efforts by the Kaminaljuyu elite to communicate their participation in shifting ideological, political, and economic marketplaces over time. While many underlying ideologies remain consistent, one finds dramatic changes in how these messages are communicated through public art and elite funerary contexts through the centuries. One of the most important factors in recognizing and analyzing these developments is the recent identification of an indigenous sculptural tradition, native to the Southern Region, which arose after the Olmec style fell out of favor. Since this locally developed style articulated locally relevant messages, it provides scholars with a baseline, highlighting the ways in which these messages and the format of their presentation changed through time.

Cite this Record

Changing Faces: Evolutions in Art at Kaminaljuyu, Guatemala. Lucia Henderson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431285)


Ideology Maya Sculpture

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): 14954