ceramic sculpture, Mayan origin, 600-900 CE


This ceramic sculpture of a male prisoner found on Jaina Island, Campeche, Mexico, was made between 600-900 CE when the Maya ruled much of the land of Central America from what is now Mexico to Panama. They augmented their power by making war and violence into a kind of sacred art. The taking of prisoners, the exhibition of prisoners, (as shown here), and even the torture of prisoners was all carefully orchestrated and ritualized so as to make it seem inevitable, necessary and even beautiful.


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