In 2012, Dr. Olivia Navarro-Farr and her team uncovered the tomb of a Maya ruler in a large ceremonial structure at the site of El Perú-Waka’ in the Petén region of Guatemala. Specialists, subsequently, identified these remains as those of Lady K’abel, a queen already well known from texts associated with the ancient city. This study will explore one of the artifacts found in the tomb, called the War Serpent Vessel, found at the Kaloompte’s feet. I will propose that the iconographic depcitions on this artifact represent a supernatural Serpent that emerges from this vessel. I suggest that this vessel acted as a cave through which this Serpent would have emerged during ritual activities. Its position at the feet of the interred emphasizes its interpretation as a metaphorical cave that emerges from the sacred mountain, on which rulers often stand in royal portraiture, as seen in Waka’ Stela 34.


Navarro-Farr, Olivia

Second Advisor

Presciutti, Diana


Archaeology; Art and Art History


Maya, Iconography, Serpent, Bowl, Waka'

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



© Copyright 2016 Sarah Van Oss