Vessels like this are an important source of information about Maya society since few of their books survive.

Maya: The Fenton Vase

This fabulously-dressed mirror-bearer imitates the humans who performed this function in the royal courts.


One of many Maya city-states, Palenque rose to prominence in the seventh century thanks to an ambitious local lord.

Palenque (Classic Period)

The Maya, an introduction
As independent city-states, the ancient Maya lacked a centralized power but shared a common belief system.

The Maya, an introduction

A Mayan ruler in ritual dress, Stela 51, Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico, 731 C.E.,(Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico D.F.)
Large stone sculptures was the principal medium for presenting Maya political and religious messages to the public.

Classic Maya portrait stelae