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Sculpted throne back
The throne was literally the seat of Maya power, both political and supernatural. It consisted of a platform and a throne back like this one, both covered with elaborate carvings. These two panels are from a rare surviving throne back. They show the interplay between the mortal world and the divine. A third section was originally attached at the right.
In this case we have a real king but he's impersonating
a god, Itzamna.
Like many Maya kings, the male figure associates himself with the powerful sky god. He leans toward his wife, who is dressed as a goddess. Between them sits a small figure in profile with wings attached to his arms - perhaps a messenger of the god.
As the flesh and blood ruler sat on this throne,
the court would have been constantly aware of his divine power, echoed
in the carving behind him.