Beginning as a morphological and iconographic study this paper unfolds an ideological conclusion about the changing Maya Toltec polity conveyed by serpent iconography at Chichen Itza. A new emphasis in religious belief and civil authority, appearing in serpent columns, is in contrast to earlier Maya serpent-mask doorways. Atlantean columns supporting seats of authority displace an older imagery of bound captives beneath the feet of victorious rulers. Readers unfamiliar with Maya studies will find the chronological framework and a listing of the relevant monuments in the Tables (pages 93, 95, 97, 102). On the special conditions of the study of ancient American art, see Kubler, "Methodological Approaches to Pre-Columbian Art," Actes, XLIIe Congrès International des Américanistes (1976), vol. VII, 283-290.

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