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Jaina, Campeche: Cloth from Late Classic Maya Burial


Textile fragments from Precolumbian Maya sites are rare, with most examples coming from underwater deposits such as in the Cenote of Sacrifice at Chichén Itzá. Trade goods in a large canoe seen in the Bay Islands of Honduras in 1502 by Fernando Colón during the 4th Voyage of Columbus also included costly, handsome cotton mantles, and sleeveless shirts embroidered and painted in different designs and colors.

These cloth pieces found in a Late Classic (AD 600-900) burial at the island of Jaina, Campeche show painted designs and use of color comparable to those in Maya wall frescoes. The same burial zones on Jaina have also revealed a number of Late Classic figurines of high quality.

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Fig.1: Cloth from burial at Jaina (Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico; photo: Athena Review).


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