Rubbings of Mayan Stone Stelae

STELA 9 - AD 849
40" X 68"

Seibal Stela 9
© James A. McBride II

   The site of Seibal was constructed upon a series of high bluffs and ridges overlooking the middle course of the Pasion river in southern Peten. Maya farmers settled the area very early in the first millennium before Christ. Through the centuries of habitation the importance of the site varied, but during the closing decades of the Classic period, nearly 2,000 years later, the site became of very great importance.

   The five monuments (Stelae 8-11, 21) associated with Temple A-3 all display striking details of individual portraiture and clearly depict historic personages. Many nonlocal features are displayed in these portraits although they are all within the boundaries of Classic Maya style. The facial features of the figure of Stela 9 more closely approach Classic standards of idealized protraiture while those of the other Temple A - 3 stelae more prominently display their alien affiliations.