Maya Stelae: An Enduring Record


About the Institute and Exhibit Program

Founded in 1924, the Middle American Research Institute (M.A.R.I.) at Tulane University strives to promote greater understanding of the vibrant and diverse cultures of Mesoamerica, the area encompassing much of Mexico and Central America.

The Institute stewards an extensive collection of textiles, artifacts, and ethnographic materials and an archive of letters, field notes, maps, and photographs gathered during field projects and given by generous donors. M.A.R.I. endeavors to make these collections visible and accessible to researchers, students, and the general public through exhibitions, workshops, symposia, and scholarly publications.

Each semester, M.A.R.I. interns explore and research the Institute’s photographic collections. The culmination of their hard work is a photo exhibit displayed in the hallway outside the main gallery. These exhibits have covered a wide range of topics showcasing the people and material culture of Mesoamerica.


Maya Stelae: An Enduring Record

Maya stelae are stone monuments that were erected to commemorate special occasions or to honor a ruler. They were often engraved with detailed iconography and hieroglyphic writing describing the events they memorialized. The size and shape of these beautiful carved stones varied widely across time and space.

This exhibit explores Maya stelae from Guatemala using photographs from the M.A.R.I. archival collections. Quirigua and Tikal, celebrated for their numerous monuments, feature prominently here, but smaller and lesser-known sites are also displayed.


Date Exhibited: Spring 2017

Location: M.A.R.I., 3rd floor of Dinwiddie Hall, Tulane University

Acknowledgements: The exhibit was designed by Archives Intern Rebecca Whitney and supervised and converted to digital format by Erin Patterson, M.A.R.I. Archive Manager. Many thanks to Marc Zender for his valuable input on this project.


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