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Slateware cup

Maya slateware cup (front)
ca. AD 900
Chocolá, Campeche, Mexico
Clay, cinnabar
11.5 x 13.5 cm
Exchange from James Economos

This beautifully carved ceramic vessel depicts an exquisite royal portrait, surrounded by glyphs that read: “This is the drinking cup of K´ahk´ Uht K´nich [fire-countenanced sun god], King of Akankeh [modern Acanceh, Yucatán] and ball player.” Not only does the inscription tell us that Mayan ball players were elites, but it identifies a Maya lord—and where he is from—otherwise unknown to Mayan scholars.

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