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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of Mexico : Stone Sculpture of a Skull
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Stone Sculpture of a Skull - PF.3412
Origin: Mexico
Circa: 300 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 9" (22.9cm) high x 7" (17.8cm) wide x 13" (33.0cm) depth
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Stone

Location: United States
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This marvelous stone sculpture of a skull is carved in a realistic manner, depicting especially powerful deep eye sockets and a full set of teeth. Such close resemblance to a real human skull has a strong visual and emotional impact on its viewers. In Ancient Meso-America, skulls were often used to suggest death and sacrifice, and this magnificently carved skull possibly represents the god of the underworld. The underworld was a place in afterlife through which all the deceased had to go. Its nine layers are difficult to pass through and perhaps this god of the underworld was to oversee those who are traveling through those layers. In addition to the fine workmanship, the artist of the sculpture has carefully chosen the color of stone to match the color of human bone. Just like human bones that last for thousands of years, the dramatic, hard, dense stone skull seems to defy the passage of time, wanting to last forever. This realistic depiction of a skull reminds people of the natural event of death and the eternal afterlife that awaits humanity. - (PF.3412)


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