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Mayan GI monolith Hijole Structure of Copan

Photogrammetric register (2022) of a monolithic mosaic sculpture from Structure Hijole, buried beneath Structure 10L-26 [Hieroglyphic Stairway], dating to the reign of Ruler 12, showing a high relief sculpture of a waterfowl and the spike used to secure it to the building.
The sculpture is located at the Museo de Escultura de Copán. Copán, Honduras.

This volcanic tuff monolith is one of the most refined artistic demonstrations of the Mayan culture. It was discovered along with what appear to be waterfall sculptures during excavation of the tunnel in the northeast corner of the pyramidal base of Structure 26. A small building was found buried at this site.

The monolith likely illustrates GI, an anthropomorphic deity with swirling irises, a piercer-like front tooth, and facial whorls that have been characterized as fish barbels. GI’s attributes connect it to the wind, the hurricanes of the wet season, and the storms from the north that regularly descend on the Maya lowlands during the dry season.