Xunantunich, east frieze

Xunantunich structure A-6-2nd: the east frieze [Photo by Marion Canavan, January 4, 1998]

Satterthwaite photo of sun god, Xunantunich

This photograph, xeroxed from an article by Linton Satterthwaite in Archaeology from 1950, shows the wonderful roman nose which has since degraded. Satterwaite writes: "Here one looks up and from the side at the eyes and nose of the god thus associated with the moon and, less directly, with the sky and the planet Venus. The upper lip projects outward at the center, and from this projection it is possible and perhaps probable that two human incisor teeth hung down, notched on the sides. The human nose is of a Roman type and the eye-sockets are more or less rectangular. All these features suggest the Maya sun god. However, the mouthful of enormous stylized fangs and the absence of a lower jaw suggest that this is too simple an interpretation.

(Satterthwaite 1950: 221)