By 1626, the chronicler Bernabé Cobo said that “at the diocese of Guamanga there is a big hill full of seams of a very fine alabaster which is as white as the snow, is used to carve small relief images, is very unusual and valued everywhere it is taken; and this stone is so soft that, soaked in water, it is carved with a knife”. Executed in situ, quickly and at a low cost, and easily transported.
In the relief, Death rises triumphantly and is crowned because it rules over everything and everybody. It rules over the passing of time, symbolized in the clepsydra (water clock), and has wings, that allude to how fast it presents itself, both elements shared with the iconography of the Greek god Kronos or the Roman god Saturn. It is not carrying a scythe, but it has a mallet, a bow, and a quiver full of arrows, used to deliver its supreme, final, and sometimes sudden blow, which is why continuous preparation of the soul is necessary by rejecting the futility of materiality. But, most importantly, the wound it inflicts is irremediable and universal, maybe the only democratic thing there exists. The Death's will is unbreakable and incorruptible, and it ignores glories, riches, or dignities, such as those once possessed by the cardinal, the king, the pope, and the bishop who are under its feet, identified by the characteristic symbols covering the skull, i.e. the cardinal's hat, the crown, the tiara, and the mitre, respectively.