Weekly Snapshot: Lamanai Stela 9

Stela 9 at Lamanai Maya Ruins, Belize

Stela 9 at Lamanai Maya Ruins – Orange Walk, Belize

This stela is found at the Lamanai Maya Ruins located off the Belize River in the Orange Walk district of Belize.

This monument was erected in the Middle Classic Period, around AD 625, in front of the small N 10-27 temple.  It depicts Lord Smoking Shell holding a double headed ceremonial bar diagonally across his chest, celebrating the anniversary of the lord’s reign and the conclusion of the year. Lord Smoking Shell’s head emerges from an open-mouthed serpent headdress that is decorated with small plaques of jade or shell.

The burials of five children ranging in age from newborn to eight years old have been discovered beneath the stela, indicating a site of high significance since human offerings are not usually associated with the dedication of monuments.

The structure as well as the carved stone monument was destroyed sometime after the Late Classic period.

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