January 8, 2005 Wendy Bacon,  "Image as Artifact, Image as Text: The Dwarf Motif on Classic Maya Stelae, or, a Text Without a Context is a Pretext".

In the past, the Pre-Columbian Society has heard Judith Storniolo address
the dwarf motif from an ethnolinguistic perspective and Simon Martin address
it from an iconographic perspective.  Wendy looked at this same motif from
an archaeological perspective.  After reviewing the characteristics of
achondroplasia and the iconographic conventions that allow us to recognize
this motif, she traced its history and geographical distribution.  The first
known example appeared on Caracol Stela 1 around 593 AD.  As the
relationship between Carakol and Tikal improved, the motif eventually spread
to Tikal, and Wendy traced its subsequent slow spread to selected other
sites.  (Caracol, Tikal, and Xultun still, however, account for over half of
the known dwarf motif examples.)  Finally, she speculated on some possible
meanings and associations of the motif.

Wendy Bacon is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology of the
University of Pennsylvania.  She has worked at the Maya sites of Nohmul and
Santa Rita Corozal with Arlen and Diane Chase, and at Pusilha with Richard
Leventhal, all in Belize.  Her dissertation title is "The Achondroplastic
Dwarf Motif in Classic Lowland Maya Iconography: A Spatial Analysis".

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