An Inscribed Block from Pajaral, Guatemala

Pajaral block

In the bodega of the Museo Sylvanus Morley in Tikal, Guatemala, are a number of odds-and-ends of Maya sculpture recovered from looters over the last few decades. One piece is the block illustrated here, known to many epigraphers since its publication some years ago by Karl Herbert Meyer. Its place of origin has long been a mystery, so I was happy to learn a few years ago that Ian Graham was the first to ever see the stone, in the course of his initial explorations of the ruins of Pajaral, Petén, Guatemala, in the late 1970s. He included a quick but recognizable sketch of it in his field notebook, now in the archives of the Peabody Museum at Harvard University. So, the block is certainly from Pajaral, and I therefore suggest a new designation for it, following the standards of the Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions: Pajaral, Miscellaneous 1. I believe one or two other stones in a similar style, also looted, may be from the same inscription.

The glyphs show a partial Long Count date, best reconstructed as [9.16.]10.0.0 1 Ajaw [3 Zip] (March 11, 761).

3 thoughts on “An Inscribed Block from Pajaral, Guatemala

  1. Lawrence J. Rogers July 23, 2009 / 8:02 PM

    It’s great that you keep this blog, Dr. Stuart. I’m a big fan of dialogue between academia and the general public.

  2. Mario Giron September 13, 2009 / 6:30 AM

    Hello Dr. Stuart,

    It is of great interest that more examples of epigraphy and iconography from Pajaral are being found for it will certainly shed more light on the history of this site. I was wondering if this is the same site that has been identified as “Hix Witz” or at least has some connection to that polity?? Also, are there are any publications or papers regarding the massive stairway found at this site and if it has any inscriptions or iconography of some kind, perhaps similar to that of Copan or Dos Pilas?

  3. Donald Hales October 9, 2009 / 11:35 PM

    This glyph block was first published by Karl Herbert Mayer in Maya Monuments VI – Maya Monuments: Sculptures of Unknown Provenance Supplement 3,” Verlag Vom Fleming 1991, page 34 [Cat. No. 23], Plate 159 (photo), and again later by Karl Herbert Mayer in Maya Monuments VII – Maya Monuments: Scultpures of Unknown Provenance Supplement 4,” Verlag Von Fleminig 1995, page 22, Plate 129 (drawing).
    At that time no provenance was known.

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