Upcoming Events

Back to All Events

Flaked Stone Symbols: Eccentrics, their meaning, and function in ancient Maya society

  • Los Penasquitos Ranch House (map)

By Marcos Ramos

This presentation examines the possible symbolic representation and functions of symbolic flaked stone artifacts, commonly known as eccentrics. These ceremonial artifacts are found as sets of chipped chert or obsidian zoomorphic and geometric shapes found deposited beneath the floors of buildings and beneath stelae set about the built sacred landscapes of many lowland Maya centers in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. This presentation analyzes a wide range of eccentric forms that are representative of the Late Classic Maya eccentric assemblage complex. These eccentrics were recovered from the Late Classic regional center of Buenavista del Cayo in the upper Belize River Valley. These ceremonial artifacts have been the subject of archaeological study for the past 200 years; however, only in the last 30 years, has research focused on the possible symbolic meaning and function of these offerings. This presentation brings a plausible understanding of these artifacts and what they probably represented to their ancient Maya creators.