Exhibits on the Plaza


The Maya had skilled artists, who decorated plazas and buildings -- inside and out -- with impressive and elaborate reliefs and free-standing sculptures. The artists were professionals and might move from one site to another, as their skills were needed. They used clay for small sculptures and stone for large ones.

Some of their monumental sculptures -- notably, stelae -- stood almost 12 metres (40 feet) high. These usually depicted historical rulers and recorded the rulers' dynastic claims or dates and events associated with their reigns.

Shifts in artistic style can be traced through the Maya period and elements of Maya style can be seen in the sculpture and architecture of the peoples who replaced the Maya as lords of Mesoamerica.

These replicas of Mesoamerican sculptures were made for the Canadian Museum of Civilization by Art Price.