This plaque was carved, polished, and incised from light green jadeite. It may have been reworked from a larger celt or hand axe, originally fashioned by the Olmec artist(s). Alternatively (or most likely in some combination), the Maya, known for excavating and recycling earlier cultural artifacts, may have later worked this plaque into its present shape and decoration, including the incised line drawings.
This Mayan plaque is associated with the largest lowland city of Tikal. Covering an area of around 30.3 square miles (50.3 square kilometers), Tikal was among the wealthiest of Mayan cities. It continued from around 800 BCE–800 CE. This plaque was created just prior to or during the city’s conquest by Teotihuacan around 375 CE, which maintained power until around 700 CE. This influence may also account for the interest in the earlier Olmec civilization and therefore this object may demonstrate the fusion of styles and ideas during this period of forced interaction.