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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Cylindrical Vases : Mayan Carved Cylindrical Vase
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Mayan Carved Cylindrical Vase - PF.2197
Origin: Guatemala
Circa: 600 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 8.75" (22.2cm) high
Catalogue: V7
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This stunning cylinder vase is an excellent example of the Mayan artistic tradition of deep carving on vessels, creating a bas-relief effect very much like that found on the great stone monuments. On a highly burnished orange background the artist has carved a series of glyphs that handsomely encircle the upper portion of the vase. Below, an incised band of two horizontal lines stand three carved birds, rendered in a most artistic pose, their wings and beak carved in a glyph-like manner. Powerful water birds such as these may have been considered a significant link between the three levels of the Mayan Universe. In their ability to fly through the terrestrial sphere and dive into the water, they have direct access to the underworld. What ancient sights have these birds been a witness to? Evidence of burning inside the ceremonial vessel makes us wonder about the ritual that this vessel took an active role in. Do the glyphs on the vase give a date and related constellation of the ritual...fascinating questions to ponder and give rise to our imagination. To own this evocative ceremonial vase is to most certainly partake in the mysterious Mayan rituals on both an emotional and aesthetic level. - (PF.2197)


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