In the Realm of Rain Gods: A Contextual Survey of Rock Art across the Northern Maya Lowlands


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settingsOrder Article Reprints Open AccessArticle In the Realm of Rain Gods: A Contextual Survey of Rock Art across the Northern Maya Lowlands by Dominique Rissolo Cultural Heritage Engineering Initiative, Qualcomm Institute, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093, USA Heritage 2020, 3(4), 1094-1108; Received: 30 August 2020 / Revised: 17 September 2020 / Accepted: 21 September 2020 / Published: 27 September 2020 (This article belongs to the Section Archaeological Heritage) Downloadkeyboard_arrow_down Browse Figures Versions Notes Abstract Regional rock art studies have provided insight into the role of caves in Maya ideology and worldview. In addition to the content of the imagery itself, the placement or siting of rock art with respect to natural and cultural features within the cave environment can reveal much about the function and meaning of cave use practices. This comparative analysis of rock art emphasizes contextual considerations with a discussion on the spatial and symbolic relationships between images in individual caves. Rock art in the northern Maya lowlands is commonly associated with watery areas and pathways leading to pools in caves. Across the northern Yucatan Peninsula, watery caves witnessed the rites and rituals of religious practitioners who appealed to the rain gods. Rock art scenes throughout this region were often devised and positioned in ways that reveal or are consistent with this unique and pervasive emphasis on rain and agricultural fertility in religious practice.

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