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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Olmec Art : Olmec Jade Celt
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Olmec Jade Celt - CK.0314
Origin: Mesoamerica
Circa: 900 BC to 600 BC
Dimensions: 10.5" (26.7cm) high x 4" (10.2cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Stone

Location: United States
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A celt is a common prehistoric tool of stone or metal, shaped like a chisel or ax head. This large jade celt demonstrates the spectacular workmanship of Mayan lapidaries. No engravings decorate the work. The brilliant green hues of the jade are allowed to dominate. In Mesoamerica, from the time of the Olmec civilization, the naked blade was identified with agriculture and food, since stone axe heads were used for clearing fields. However, a celt such as this one would have been used in important ritual ceremonies. Celts were also associated with ears of corn, the V-shape being associated with the husk from which the cob emerged. - (CK.0314)


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