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Maya Pottery Incantation Plate

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Maya Pottery Incantation Plate

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Quick Overview

The Maya, How they Brought About their own End-of-Times

Today Mexican style decor borrows heavily from the beautiful ancient Maya art of pre Columbia America. Part of its appeal is due to the spectacular achievements of the Maya empire and its very mysterious utter collapse and disappearance.

You may be surprised to learn that with all the recent discoveries being made concerning the Mayans, that there in fact was no Maya empire. Throughout the Classic Period (defined as the timeframe when the Mayans achieved their height 250BCE-900CE), the cities of the Maya lands were apparently independent city-states.

Scholars liken the Maya cities to the city-states of ancient Greece: all spoke a common language, religious beliefs and group of common assumptions, but all were strongly independent and often at a constant state of war with one another, but no one central state enforced rule over the others.

To judge from surviving inscriptions in pyramids, temples and Maya pottery, the dynastic ruler of a Maya state gained great prestige if he could catch a rival king, hold him imprisoned, inflict punishing torture upon him and finally decapitate him. This was done more for ceremonial purposes than for capturing and holding land. Indeed, the boundaries between the Mayans city-states remained constant over the many years that were marked by the greatest bloodshed. It is assumed that instead more powerful city-states held the weaker ones in a tribute paying relationship instead of confiscating their lands.

In the 9th century CE, the cities of in the Mayans Southern Lowlands began to be deserted. The jungle vegetation that the Maya farmers had tamed grew back, and in time even overpowered the great temples and plazas that had once been decorated with vibrant ancient Mayan art where priests and kings had celebrated royal power.

But not, all the Mayans cities’ were abandoned, to the north towards the tip of the Yucatan peninsula, Maya cities such as Mayapan, Uxmal, Labna and Chichen Itza continued to thrive, making the decline of the Mayans lowland cities all the more puzzling. Within five generations, the great civilization of the Lowland Maya faded. This event has been called “the great Maya collapse” by archaeologists and historians.

Why would a determined and resourceful people abandon their great constructions of stone which had been laboriously erected in honor of their rulers, ancestors and gods? After 900 CE no more Maya stelae that marked the dynastic achievements and history of the proud Maya of the Lowlands were carved or erected. These phenomenal monuments of pre Columbian art were seen no more.

One of the present theories states that the Lowlands Maya basically wiped one another out. Centuries of continous fighting between the city-states greatly depleted the population. In time, the combination of falling population from warfare and inadequate food from constant battles contributed to the condition where the cities could not be maintained and so were abandoned. In effect the jungle soil would no longer produce the food necessary to support a continuous state of conflict.

Disease may have also contributed to the acceleration of the decline. Maya pottery from surviving cities depicts diseases in greater numbers being present. As the population began to fall, fear of hunger and future shortages fuelled ever-more fierce wars for the dwindling resources available. The end was apparent; people chose to flee for safety and away from population centers that offered no safety.

A true tragedy took place, the mighty Maya; timekeepers of the universe, together with their centers of learning were no more. Their incredible achievements in astronomy, mathematics, Maya pottery and other pre columbian art as well as monumental constructions in stone were erased. All was claimed by the jungle and forgotten. Even their writing was forgotten. Until very recent, the glyphs in stone and four surviving Maya manuscripts were considered undecipherable. It is only now at present with some breakthroughs that we are starting to decipher what words were written and truly comprehend the splendor of their achievements, and their great fall.

Product Description

Unique piece, only 1 available

Hand made in Mexico by decendants of the Maya Expire of fired clay and properly purified.

7.5" tall x 6" wide, weight = 3 lbs.

This is a hand made pottery object, slight imperfections may exist.


Scenes and glyphs depict a Maya incantation. A warrior with an eagle headress talking to a severed head of an enemy. The succesful warrior is requesting the bravery of the defeated warrior to add to his own.

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