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Mayan Carved Black Cylindrical Vessel - PF.5629
Origin: El Salvador
Circa: 300 AD to 9 AD
Dimensions: 7.875" (20.0cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Mayan
Medium: Terracotta

Painted black, this vessel exudes a mysterious energy, an ancient intangible potency that is as radiant today as it ever was. Much like we can conceive of spirits haunting the earth after their bodily demise, ancient spiritual powers, accumulated after centuries of reverence, continue to inhabit certain sacred object long after the civilization that created them has faded away. This cylindrical container, originally used to consume a Mayan concoction of cacao and chilies, is certainly one such object. The majority of the exterior is decorated by a series of carved vertical lines resembling the pattern of corduroy. The upper and lower bands that frame this abstract motif are inscribed with numerous glyphs. While the two bands are not exactly the same, they do contain several of the same glyphs repeated in the same order. One of the glyphs clearly depicts a human face crowned by a long swirling headdress that extends in front of his head. Another resembles some sort of a beast, perhaps a snake, with a long hooked tongue. This masterful work of ancient Mayan pottery must have played a vital role in a long forgotten ceremony. Its importance is reflected both in its tremendous craftsmanship as well as the glyphs that adorn it. Found in the tomb of an ancient ruler or dignitary, this vessel was as essential to the ancient Mayan in the next world as it was in this one. - (PF.5629)


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