Throughout the course of history, great civilizations
have used the mask as a symbol of powerful magic.
The gold masks of Mycenae, the mummy masks of
Egypt, the wax ancestor portraits of Rome; all have
tried to capture not just the likeness of important
persons but their spirit. Teotihuacan was the greatest
capital of ancient Mexico, a center of learning and
the arts. Reviving the traditions of the earlier Olmec
culture, the artists of Teotihuacan created stone
masks of enduring beauty and mystery. Their
ceremonial function is uncertain; it is not known if
they represent mortals or gods. This splendid
example depicts the human face with serene
simplicity. To gaze upon this image is to feel the
energy of an ancient culture at its peak.