Document Type


Publication Date


Department 1



Judith Butler’s proposal that embodiment is a process of repeated citation of precedents leads us to consider the experiential effects of Mesoamerican practices of ornamenting space with images of the human body. At Late Classic Maya Copán, life-size human sculptures were attached to residences, intimate settings in which body knowledge was produced and body practices institutionalized. Moving through the space of these house compounds, persons would have been insistently presented with measures of their bodily decorum. These insights are used to consider the possible effects on people of movement around Formative period Olmec human sculptures, which are not routinely recovered in such well-defined contexts as those of the much later Maya sites.

Required Publisher's Statement

© 2003 McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research