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Mayan Art and Architecture

Mayan Art and Architecture

Author: Aleisha Olson
Identify characteristics and techniques reflective of Mayan art and architecture.
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Image of Temple I, Tikal, Creative Commons,; Image of Stele 31, Tikal, Creative Commons:; Image of Temple of the Inscriptions, Palenque, Creative Commons,; Image of Sarcophagus Lid from Tomb of Pacal, Creative Commons,; Image of Portrait of Pacal, Creative Commons,;

Terms to Know

The elevation of a person to the status of a god, often seen in ancient Rome in portraits of emperors and busts of deceased family members.

Corbel Vaults

The simplest type of vault, involving step support systems.


A form of writing that uses pictures and symbols to represent syllables and entire words or concepts.


An artistic likeness of an individual.

Relief Sculpture

A sculpture technique that uses a process of cutting into a flat surface i.e. wood, stone or material, by chiseling or gouging.

Roof Comb

The construction that tops a pyramid in monumental Mesoamerican architecture decorated with iconography of the Mayan culture.


A stone coffin, often decorated with sculpture.


A slab of stone or terra-cotta, usually oblong, carved.