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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Cylindrical Vases : Mayan Babilonia Painted Tripod Cylindrical Vessel
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Mayan Babilonia Painted Tripod Cylindrical Vessel - PF.6078
Origin: Honduras
Circa: 300 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 7.75" (19.7cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Style: Babilonia
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This vessel exudes a mysterious energy, an ancient intangible potency that is as radiant today as the day it was fired. Much like we can conceive of spirits haunting the earth after their bodily demise, ancient spiritual powers continue to inhabit certain sacred object long after the civilization that created them has faded away. This cylindrical container is certainly one such object. Raised up on three small feet, this vessel is sparsely, although elegantly, decorated. The main feature is a large red I-shaped motif repeated three times along the outer surface. Interspersed are abstracted, highly stylized, representations of a costumed figure wearing a sprawling feathered headdress. Might this be a god? Perhaps it’s a shaman disguised as a deity? What was the meaning of this mysterious decoration? Unfortunately, without the aid of glyphic texts, comprehension of this design will remain elusive. This masterful work of ancient Mayan pottery must have played a vital role in a long forgotten ceremony. Its importance is reflected both in its tremendous craftsmanship as well as the glyphs that adorn it. Found in the tomb of an ancient ruler or dignitary, this vessel was as essential to the ancient Mayan in the next world as it was in this one. - (PF.6078)


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