Mayan Cylindrical Vessel - PF.5631
Origin: El Salvador
Circa: 300 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 7.875" (20.0cm) high x 6" (15.2cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Mayan
Medium: Terracotta

Much like some believe ancient spirits continue to haunt the earth long after their death, sacred objects continue to retain their spiritual powers, accumulated through centuries of reverence, long after the civilization that created them fades into oblivion. This object is one such example. Two bands of glyphs decorate this flaring vessel. The upper band, painted just below the rim, contains a series of two separate glyphs repeated three times. The first glyph take on the form of a human head, crowned in an expansive headdress the extends from the top of his head to in front of his face. He also wears a large ovular ear ornament. The second glyph is an abstract symbol not based on any clear naturalistic observation. In the lower band, the glyphs are also abstract, bearing great similarity to the one above; although they are not precise copies. The majority of the body of this vessel is a solid orange field void of any decoration of elaboration besides the luminous hue of the paint. This vessel must have played a significant role in the lives of the Mayans, perhaps used as a vessel for ritual consumptsion of the famed Mesoamerican chocolate drink. Found in a tomb, buried along side a fallen ruler, this vase was as important in the afterlife as it was in this world. - (PF.5631)




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