Human effigy incense burner top

Early Classic Period
A.D. 400–550

Object Place: Department of El Petén, Guatemala, Tikal area


54.61 cm (21 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware: black, red and white slip paint

On View

Ancient Central America Gallery (Gallery LG32)




Ceramics, Pottery, Earthenware

A seated male figure, likely a Maya ruler, wears a zoomorphic headdress surmounted by a cartouche in which originally was painted his name (now eroded). He wears a large pectoral depicting a human face, which may represent the Maize god, and holds a human heart in his hands. Suspended from his nose is a crossed-bands and triangle icon. His body is painted black (now mostly eroded). See 1988.1226a and 1988.1228a for nearly identical objects.


Collected between 1974 and 1981 by John Fulling, Art Collectors of November, Inc., Florida (and known as the "November Collection"); to Landon T. Clay, Boston, Massachusetts, in 1987; to MFA, December 1988, gift of Landon T. Clay.

Credit Line

Gift of Landon T. Clay