Art From The Past

Ancient Mayan Artists


The Mayan culture left behind few records of why their civilization collapsed. Archeologists must speculate and parts of their theories are based on the artwork left behind. They examine the murals that are on temple and government buildings. Murals on these buildings tell stories about wars with others. Some tell of the Mayan gods and rituals performed to please them. There are examples of this art throughout the ruins left behind. Examining murals unravels the mysteries of a civilization that flourished and disappeared before Europeans sailed to the New World.

There are many types of Mayan art. While much of it deals with religious themes, some of it is purely decorative. The artists of this culture were adept at carving many types of materials. Very few pieces of wood carvings remain. This is due to the jungle climate where wooden objects do not survive long. Other pieces were carved from rocks and various minerals available in the local areas. This art has stood the test of time and helps scientists explore this culture through their art.

Ceramics were a favorite art form used by the Mayan culture. They made many bowls that were both useful and decorative. There are several different periods of art for scientists to explore. Each has its own distinctive style within the culture’s art forms. Resist is one form of ceramic decoration used on bowls. It entails a base color with stripes running horizontally on the piece. It was a favorite of artists during the first millennium. Scientists speculate its beauty led to it being traded throughout the empire at the time.

There are many beautiful bowls left behind by Mayan artists. Their decorations were unique and have a certain mystique for many people. Using ceramic decals or ceramic transfers is a way to recreate these beautiful pieces in the modern marketplace. Furnishing homes with this beautiful art keeps it and its culture alive. The mystique is an attraction for those who wonder at the lives of ancient people. Displaying a bowl with this particular form of art shows an interest in a different culture and appreciation for their art.