The concept of divinity in Maya art
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This dissertation aims at advancing our understanding of Ancient Maya cosmology through the in-depth analysis of a singular, broadly-extant, and sacred entity called God L. Focus is placed upon portrayals created in the Central Area of settlement (lowland Guatemala and Mexico) and the timeframe of the Classic era. While seeking to uncover knowledge derived from the Classic Maya epoch, data extends beyond this temporal boundary in order to fix visual forms within the continuum of cultural development. My research is the first comprehensive study of the innovation, characterization, function, and meaning of God L. Collected together within the pages of this dissertation are numerous examples drawn from the corpus of Maya art. The examination of this deity, whose qualities and narrative exemplify a sacrosanct existence, sheds light on the concept of k’uh, an indigenous Maya word used to describe holy beings and things. Various depictions of God L are analyzed from the perspective of an art historical methodology that is augmented by information drawn from other academic disciplines.