Palenque Museum: detail of an incense burner [January 1, 2004]

"This incense burner base, recovered from recent excavations of Temple XV-C at Palenque, is the example in the best state of preservation and displays the greatest artistic and technical perfection of this ceramic tradition. It is also a representation of complex religious symbolism.

Composite censers are objects used to burn aromatic resins during rituals, for which a bowl was placed in the upper part of the pedestal. They were also temporary receptacles of the deities; therefore the central motif of their decoration are the faces of these numens. In the piece displayed here are human features without the attributes of supernatural beings, so perhaps it is the image of a deified ruler."

Martha Cuevas García, MAYA [Palazzo Grassi], p. 601