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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Basalt Metates and Altars : Atlantic Watershed Basalt Altar
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Atlantic Watershed Basalt Altar - PF.2817
Origin: Eastern Coast of Costa Rica
Circa: 700 AD to 1000 AD
Dimensions: 20.25" (51.4cm) high x 16.875" (42.9cm) wide
Catalogue: V14
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Basalt

Location: United States
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This altarpiece is a fascinating example of the detailed and massive sculptural rendering of the Ancient Costa Ricans. Undoubtedly serving an important function in Ancient Costa Rican rituals, this altar may have been used as a platform, where revered animals representing deities were worshipped. Twenty heads hang from the exterior of the circular plate of the altar, possibly representing trophy heads taken in battle. The Costa Rican artists' complete mastery of the medium coupled with an aesthetic that was sensitive to the natural and supernatural world, resulted in this highly spirited masterpiece of sculpted stone, ageless in its ability to stimulate our senses. - (PF.2817)


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