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Stele

Arts of the Americas

The exact function of monumental stone slabs such as this one is unknown because only a few have been found in situ. One example was discovered upright in a cemetery, and scholars believe that such intricately carved stone monuments could have been used as grave markers for important individuals. In the manner of modern-day headstones, the base would have been buried in the ground. This stela is topped with three kneeling human figures wearing jaguar masks. The back of the slab is decorated with eighteen crouching jaguars. The jaguar may have been a totem animal or clan symbol of the deceased.


La función exacta de bloques monumentales de piedra como éste es desconocida, ya que solo unos pocos han sido encontrados in situ. Un ejemplo fue descubierto verticalmente en un cementerio, y académicos creen que monumentos de piedra intrincadamente tallados pueden haberse usado como marcadores de tumbas para individuos importantes. A la manera de lápidas modernas, la base habría estado enterrada. Esta estela está coronada por tres figuras humanas arrodilladas llevando mascaras de jaguar. El reverso de la piedra está decorado con dieciocho jaguares agazapados. El jaguar puede haber sido un animal totémico o un símbolo del clan del difunto.

MEDIUM Volcanic stone
DATES 700-1000
DIMENSIONS 78 9/16 x 23 1/4 x 11 in. (199.5 x 59 x 27.9 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 34.5098
CREDIT LINE Alfred W. Jenkins Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Stele, 700-1000. Volcanic stone, 78 9/16 x 23 1/4 x 11 in. (199.5 x 59 x 27.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Alfred W. Jenkins Fund, 34.5098. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 34.5098_front_PS4.jpg)
IMAGE front, 34.5098_front_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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 <em>Stele</em>, 700-1000. Volcanic stone, 78 9/16 x 23 1/4 x 11 in.  (199.5 x 59 x 27.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Alfred W. Jenkins Fund, 34.5098. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 34.5098_front_PS4.jpg)