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Ritual, Violence, and the Fall of the Classic Maya Kings$
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Gyles Iannone, Brett A. Houk, and Sonja A. Schwake

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062754

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062754.001.0001

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Killing the “Kings of Stone”

Killing the “Kings of Stone”

The Defacement of Classic Maya Monuments

(p.61) 3 Killing the “Kings of Stone”
Ritual, Violence, and the Fall of the Classic Maya Kings

Eleanor Harrison-Buck

University Press of Florida

David Stuart (1996) argues that monuments depicting Maya kings were not just elite portraits, but extensions of the royal self-engaged in ongoing ritual performance. These “kings of stone” were powerful agents, nurtured and protected as divine rulers. Here, the agency of monuments is considered in the context of their defacement at the end of the Classic period. Through a study of their physical treatment and associated contexts, it is argued that mutilated monuments were the victims of “soul loss.” It is concluded that monuments were but one of many receptacles or thresholds where human and nonhuman agents interacted and where conflict was played out.

Keywords:   Monument defacement, “kings of stone”, Classic period

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