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The Cover
May 2, 2001

Vase of the Dancing Lords

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2001;285(17):2169. doi:10.1001/jama.285.17.2169

For eighth-century China it was her Golden Age (JAMA cover, February 28, 2001), for Europe the Dark Ages, for the Maya empire its Classic Period. China was ruled by the great Tang Dynasty, Europe by the Martels, the Maya by a hereditary aristocracy descended from gods. Chinese poets Li Po and Tu Fu wrote about trees, forests, mountains, water, sounds, sensations; Tu Fu believed his poems cured malaria. In England a monk named Bede had just finished writing a history of the English nation; his work marked the beginning of English literature. The Maya were also writing their history, but it took the form of painting: pictures on the walls of caves, on vases, and later, in the illuminations of manuscripts. Among the finest examples of pottery painting from this era is Vase of the Dancing Lords (cover ). The style, which is characterized by its colors, red and orange on a cream background, is called Holmul, after the site in the jungles of the Petén lowlands in eastern Guatemala near the border with Belize where it was found.

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