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Dumbarton Oaks Studies in Pre-Columbian Art and Archaeology
Izapa Relief Carving
Form, Content, Rules for Design, and Role in Mesoamerican Art History and Archaeology
Virginia G. Smith

Izapa-style art consists primarily of the upright stone stelae and associated frog-shaped altars carved in low relief from the site of Izapa, located near Tapachula, Chiapas, and surrounding sites. In spite of very limited evidence, the generally accepted opinion is that Izapa art was the “connecting link in time and space between the earlier Olmec civilization and the Classic Maya.” This study reports the results of a systematic investigation of this hypothesis; it defines, classifies, and interprets Izapa sculptures as works of art and as records of material culture.