Stela C

Copan: West Altar, South-Facing Head [January 9, 2004]

The south head of the cosmic turtle is much more fragmented and eroded than the north head.

"For the Maya, the sky is a map of their religion and, as with Western civilization's Greek heritage, the constellations function as a mnemonic device for the religious ideology...In his analysis of star lore in the Maya dictionaries, Weldon Lamb found a number of constellations that are identified as animals, including ak ek ["turtle star"] (in Gemini or Orion) and tzab ek ["snake rattle star"] (the Pleiades). These seemed to have the same zoological connections in pre-Columbian times."

Dorie Reents-Budet, Painting the Maya Universe: Royal Ceramics of the Classic Period, p.252