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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Jade : Mayan Ceremonial Jade Axe
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Mayan Ceremonial Jade Axe - PF.3617
Origin: Guatemala
Circa: 6 th Century AD to 9 th Century AD
Dimensions: 7.25" (18.4cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Jade

Location: UAE
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The Maya in their great temple cities reached the summit of classical age in Ancient Meso- America. In those temple cities, great artistic expressions such as murals and sculptures flourished. It is during this classical period in which artists refined their skills to represent the human forms, deities, and other symbolic art works. Used in various rituals and ceremonies, their art embodied rich symbolism, laden with complex meanings, which largely remain esoteric. Polished to radiance, this beautiful jade ceremonial axe was most likely created strictly for ritual purposes or as a ritual offering. The front side of the axe displays an intricately incised figure wearing an elaborate costume. Incised in very thin lines, the image shows even the smallest detail, giving us a complete picture of a portion of Ancient Mayan history. A headdress with divine indications surrounds the profile face of a distinct Mayan characteristic-- heavy lidded eyes, hooked nose, and fleshy lips- -. The figure's costume is enhanced with feathers and also ankle cuffs and a pair of sandals is portrayed in exquisite detail. The speech scrolls from the mouth and the blood scroll from the chest further suggest that the figure is perhaps a high priest or nobility in process of communicating with the spiritual world. Intricate and elegant in form and content, this ceremonial axe is truly special to the modern viewers as it was to the ancient people. - (PF.3617)


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