The stamps in the second row are roller stamps. According to the blurb, “the Maya covered cylindrical stamps with paint and then rolled them onto cloth in order to transfer the designs. Stamps such as these indicate that stamping was common during the Classic Period. Today, Maya women weave similar designs into textiles instead.” There are a couple of interesting questions this small blurb raises. Firstly, the archaeologists clearly view these as stamps rather than cylinder seals like those of the Sumerians. (See my post on the earliest block printing. Note, too, that if the flat stamps were actually printed on paper, the earliest of them might predate the earliest extant paper prints from Asia.) Again, I wonder whether any ancient printed textiles actually exist, or whether they are merely assumed. And secondly, it seems odd to me to go from printed textile designs to woven. I would have expected the progression to go the other way - designs made in more complex methods would over time be adapted to the simpler reproduction method that is printmaking.
In any case, despite my questions about how these printing blocks were actually used, I got a kick out of discovering them. Yet more proof of the universality of the concept of relief printmaking. Yes indeed, everybody loves block printing!
[Pictures: Flat stamps, pottery from Guatemala, Honduras, or Mexico, AD 250-1500;
Roller stamps, pottery from Copan, Honduras, AD 250-900 (Photos by AEGN, from Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed exhibition at the Boston Museum of Science.)]