Pottery Figures

Copan Village: Museum of Archaeology [January 9, 2004]

Four of the twelve incensario lids which were found next to the tomb of the Ruler 12 [Smoke Imix or Smoke Jaguar] inside the Temple of the Hieroglyphic Stairway (10L-26).

"Finally, the exhaustive excavation of the tomb and all of its surrounding context recovered 12 censer lids in the form of human effigy figures, reminiscent of the ruler portraits on Altar Q. One of the effigy figures is clearly labelled as the founder of the dynasty by the bird in his headdress and the goggles over his eyes, just as seen on his portrait on Altar Q [not shown in these photos]

...Perhaps the 11 censers with their effigy lids that were grouped around the sides of the funerary chamber were fired up to summon the spirits of his royal ancestors, to accompany him on his journey to the spirit world. They were all deliberately smashed shortly thereafter, perhaps to send the spirits back where they came from. The 12th and last effigy lid was not placed, or its censer base fired up, until the last capstones of the protective vault had been secured at the very top of the entire assemblage. This may well have been the 13th ruler's [18-Rabbit's] final ritual in the burial ceremonies, summoning the spirit of his predecessor several days after the tomb itself had been sealed. Later that effigy, too, was smashed, and the rest of the fill and façades of the monumental Esmeralda Structure were put in place."

William L. Fash, Scribes, Warriors and Kings: The City of Copán and the Ancient Maya, p. 144-146