The Journal of
Mesoamerican Studies

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in memory of
Pierre Robert Colas

Volume XXXVII, No. 3, June 2015

mexicon 36/5

Antonio Benavides C., Sara Novelo Osorno
Íconos de Sabana Piletas, Campeche

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Antonio Benavides C., Sara Novelo Osorno
Íconos de Sabana Piletas, Campeche

This contribution documents the various reliefs found in the partial exploration of a building of Sabana Piletas, a large site located in the northeast of Campeche. In the chronological context of the Terminal Classic, sculptures of heads of raptorial birds used at cornerbacks are particularly noteworthy, but there are also examples of birds with necks entwined. Comparable images are few but interesting cases are reported from the Puuc region, in distant Copán and even in the Madrid Codex. Other reliefs are related to God L and its association with the Pop sign. Of particular relevance to the iconography of the building is a lintel carved with the head of a bat. The sculpted elements emerge from the rectangular prism shaped stone, thus creating a sculpture with a very special character. There is also a sculpture of a seated figure regionally known as xnuk (old woman), but in this case it does not seem to represent a female. Some of these works from the western part of the peninsula have a pocket or niche in front. They are usually found at the foot of monumental buildings. These features lead us to ask about the origin of the chacmool form. These sculptures would enjoy wide acceptance in many settlements of the Postclassic period in various parts of Mesoamerica.