Skip to Content
Closed today, next open Thursday. Closed today, next open Thursday.


A work made of limestone.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of limestone.


702 CE


Late Classic Maya
Vicinity of Calakmul, Campeche or Quintana Roo, Mexico

About this artwork

The lords of Maya city-states in southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras portrayed themselves on stone monuments called stelae. Placed in plazas before the palaces and pyramids of ritual and administrative centers, these sculptures document critical information about major dynastic events between A.D. 200 and 900, including royal inaugurations, military triumphs, marriages, deaths, rituals, and key events of the agricultural cycle).

The carving style of the stela suggests that it may be from the vicinity of Calakmul, a major Classic Maya city located in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, close to the border with the Petén district of Guatemala. A male figure—likely a ruler—stands in a frontal position, with his head, lower legs, and feet (now missing) turned to the viewer’s left. The subject’s gaunt face suggests that he is elderly. He holds a double-headed serpent bar across his body and is dressed in ceremonial attire associated with the Maize God, consisting of a plumed headdress, jade jewelry, a jade-netted kilt, and a spondylus seashell below the midriff. This costume symbolically connected the ruler to the earth, sky, water, and maize (corn).

Hieroglyphics carved on the left side of the monument record the date in the Maya calendar, corresponding to January 26, A.D. 702, which marked the completion of a Maya 10-year period. The text on the right side documents the ritual auto-sacrificial bloodletting performed by the ruler to commemorate this significant moment in time. Although they are too highly eroded to read accurately, the hieroglyphs on the front of the stela likely name the ruler, his ancestry, and the place where he governed.


On View, Gallery 136


Arts of the Americas






Campeche state (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

702 CE




162.6 × 68.6 × 30.5 cm (64 × 27 × 12 in.)

Credit Line

Wirt D. Walker Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions