Here is a random assortment of Mesoamerican objects in various media and different scales The precise reasons why the objects were made are not known and it is often assumed that they were essentially symbolic or decorative, but that assessment may be quite erroneous.
Artifacts that have the qualities we associate with art were generally prestige items linked to power and status. Many were made to be placed in tombs. Mesoamericans were great makers of things that we think of as "art". But our notions of art may not apply. For example, no mesoamerican language has a word equivalent to our word "art". For example, Maya words for "painting" are the same as those for "writing".

Material currently on display is listed below. Examples are selected for their intrinsic quality and are changed frequently. Some will be familiar, some have never been published elsewhere, others are drawn from specialist sources.

figurine head K'awiil Jade Head Tikal Censor
Lamanai N10-9 Hochob II  Tulum Temple 5 EdznaE6
Tikal Temple I Tikal Temple I, Restored Tikal Temple 33 1st A Feathered Serpent
Maya Dwelling Coyolxauhqui Tikal Perspective Tikal Temple IV

 We would appreciate your comments on any aspect of the gallery, or you may submit any questions the images or captions may raise to Please include a return address.

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