Over the past 50 years, thousands of exquisitely painted Maya vases, almost all looted from tombs, have flooded into public and private collections. These amazing works of art, filled with humor and mystery, have opened an extraordinary window on the Maya past. But the race to unearth these treasures has destroyed temples and palaces, culminating in the takeover of entire ancient cities by looter armies.

DANCE OF THE MAIZE GOD enters the world of the vases to explore the royal life and rich mythology of the Maya, as well as the tangled issues involved in the collection and study of Maya art. The story is told by villagers, looters, archaeologists, scholars, dealers and curators. For each, these vases have a radically different value and meaning.

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