THE MAYA RECORDED dynastic lineage in varied ways, including architecture, ceramic vases, and even wooden boxes. This wooden box, made in AD 681 and called the “Tortuguero Box” because its inscriptions are comparable to those found in Tortuguero, Mexico, is one such object. Its narrative begins with an image of the seventh-century lord who owned it. The subsequent hieroglyphs tell the dynasty of this ruler. An important class of ritual object, such boxes were probably used to house bloodletting implements and other sacrificial paraphernalia.
Curator of the Jay I. Kislak Collection
Rare Book and Special Collections Division