Supporting your high street Find out how »
Basket Image


Lightning Warrior : Maya Art and Kingship at Quirigua, Paperback / softback Book

Lightning Warrior : Maya Art and Kingship at Quirigua Paperback / softback

Part of the The Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies series


The ancient Maya city of Quirigua occupied a crossroads between Copan in the southeastern Maya highlands and the major centers of the Peten heartland.

Though always a relatively small city, Quirigua stands out because of its public monuments, which were some of the greatest achievements of Classic Maya civilization.

Impressive not only for their colossal size, high sculptural quality, and eloquent hieroglyphic texts, the sculptures of Quirigua are also one of the few complete, in situ series of Maya monuments anywhere, which makes them a crucial source of information about ancient Maya spirituality and political practice within a specific historical context. Using epigraphic, iconographic, and stylistic analyses, this study explores the integrated political-religious meanings of Quirigua's monumental sculptures during the eighth-century A.D. reign of the city's most famous ruler, K'ak' Tiliw. In particular, Matthew Looper focuses on the role of stelae and other sculpture in representing the persona of the ruler not only as a political authority but also as a manifestation of various supernatural entities with whom he was associated through ritual performance.

By tracing this sculptural program from its Early Classic beginnings through the reigns of K'ak' Tiliw and his successors, and also by linking it to practices at Copan, Looper offers important new insights into the politico-religious history of Quirigua and its ties to other Classic Maya centers, the role of kingship in Maya society, and the development of Maya art.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 277 pages, 72 b&w photos, 248 line drawings, 4 maps, 5 tables
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Art of indigenous peoples
  • ISBN: 9780292742376

Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops

Also by Matthew George Looper

Also in the The Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies series   |  View all