Izapa Stela 1 features a long lipped deity, which Coe describes as the early version of Maya god of lightning and rain, Chaac. In Stela I, the god is walking on water while collecting fish into a basket and also wearing a basket of water on his back.
Izapa Stela 2, like Stela 25, has been linked to the battle of the Maya Hero Twins against Vucub Caquix, a powerful ruling bird-demon of the Maya underworld, also known as Seven Macaw.
Izapa Stela 3 shows a deity wielding a club. This deity’s leg turns into a serpent while twisting around his body. This could be an early form of the Maya God K, who carried a staff.
Izapa Stela 4 depicts a bird dance, which has a king being transformed into a bird. The scene is most likely connected with the Principle Bird Deity. This transformation could symbolize shamanism and ecstasy, meaning the shaman-ruler used hallucinogens to journey to another world. The type of political system that was in place at Izapa is still unknown, though Stela 4 could suggest that a shaman was in charge. This shaman-ruler would serve the role of both the political and religious leader.
Izapa Stela 5 presents perhaps the most complex relief at Izapa. Central to the image is a large tree, which is surrounded by perhaps a dozen human figures and scores of other images. The complexity of the imagery has led some fringe researchers, particularly Mormon and "out of Africa" theorists, to view Stela 5 as support for their theories.
Izapa Stela 8 shows a ruler seated on a throne. The scene shown on Stela 8 is often compared to Throne 1, which was located by the central pillar of Izapa. Stela 8 may be showing a ruler seated atop Throne 1.
Izapa Stela 21 is a rare depiction of violence involving deities. The Stela illustrates a warrior holding the head of a decapitated god.
Izapa Stela 25 possibly contains a scene from the Popol Vuh. The image depicted on Stela 25 is most likely the Maya Hero Twins shooting a perched Principle Bird Deity with a blowgun. This scene is also shown on the Maya pot called the "Blowgunner Pot". It is also suggested that Stela 25 could be seen as a map of the night sky, which was used to tell the story of the Hero Twins shooting the bird deity.
|Replica of a gravestone from Izapa, Chiapas located in Metro Bellas Artes in Mexico City. The accompanying plaques translates to "GRAVESTONE OF IZAPA - Mayan culture - Preclassic Period - Description: Bas relief from Izapa depicting a person loading something."
Replica of gravestone located in Metro Bellas Artes in Mexico City. The accompanying plaque translates to "GRAVESTONE OF IZAPA - Mayan Culture - Preclassic Period - Description: Original is from Izapa, Chiapas. Represents a skeleton sitting with a (unreadable)."
Replica of gravestone located in Metro Bellas Artes in Mexico City. The accompanying plaque translates to "GRAVESTONE OF IZAPA - Mayan Culture - Preclassic Period - Description: Bas relief from Izapa, Chiapas depicting the decapitation of someone."
Stele 50 from Izapa on display at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.
Stele 1 from Izapa on display at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.
Stele 21 from Izapa on display at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. It is also named "the decapitated"
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