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.