Maya, Epigraphy, Hieroglyphs, Snake Emblem Glyph, Site Q, Calakmul, La Corona
This thesis seeks to demonstrate that the Maya snake emblem glyph is associated with religious specialists, instead of geographic locations, as emblem glyphs are typically understood to be. The inscriptions and the media on which the snake emblem glyph occurs will be analyzed to determine the role or function of the "Lord of the Snake." Temporal and spatial data has also been collected to aid in understanding the enigmatic glyph. The snake emblem glyph has recently been identified as originating from a broad area containing the sites of El Peru and La Corona in Guatemala, and Dzibanche, Mexico, a departure from the longstanding choice of Calakmul, Mexico. Unprovenanced snake emblem glyph texts have been cataloged under a "Site Q" designation ('Q' for the Spanish word Que, meaning "which") by Peter Mathews. Site Q is thus not securely identified geographically, which confounds efforts to designate a particular site as the snake emblem glyph site. Other problems with the snake emblem glyph, such as its geographically wide dispersal, hint that it is not a title of a particular city or region. Yet another problem is "a proper fit" between the individuals listed on unprovenanced material and individuals named at sites associated with the snake emblem glyph. It is argued that the interpretation of the snake emblem glyph differs from how emblem glyphs are presently understood. Rather than representing a physical location, the snake emblem glyph represents a mythological place or "state," containing members who legitimize their lineage (association) through ritual events such as communication with supernaturals via the vision serpent. The specialists perform rituals, scatterings, are ballplayers, and witness events. They are rarely associated with accession, which by current interpretation is implicitly tied to emblem glyphs.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Graduate Studies
Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Savage, Christopher Tyra, "Alternative Epigraphic Interpretations Of The Maya Snake Emblem Glyph" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3332.