Unknown: The Vase of the 7 Gods (K2796), (A.D. 600-900)

(Private Collection)

This is a rollout photo of a magnificent Maya vase, known as the vase of the 7 Gods. What we see here is the creation of this world. On the right, sitting on a throne, you can see the Maya God L. He is the God of the Underworld and trade. He is sitting on the Jaguar throne, smoking a cigar (the God L was also associated with Black Sorcery). The God is sitting inside a house made of mountain-monsters with the 'Och Chan' or vision serpent on its roof. Behind the God there is a bundle called ikatz, or 'burden', representing the weightiness of his office. In front of god L there are 6 other Gods. These Gods are identified in the text as first God Sky, then God Earth, God Nine-Footsteps, God Three-Born-Together, God Ha-te-chi, and the Jaguar-Paddler. As the Maya script isn’t fully deciphered yet, the translation is not exactly clear. The most accepted translation of the upper text is 'on 4 Ahaw, 8 Kumk'u was ordered black-is-its-center'. This text explains that we are seeing the first moments of creation. The first words '4 Ahaw, 8 Kumk'u' is the date of creation: August 11, 3114 BC. 'Black-is-its-center' is the world itself. The sky is still lying on the face of the earth, so there is no light. The Middle text identifies the 6 Gods who urge God L to carry on with the creation. The date of this vase is probably around A.D. 600-900.