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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Cylindrical Vases : Mayan Carved and Painted Cylindrical Vessel
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Mayan Carved and Painted Cylindrical Vessel - PF.6181
Origin: Honduras
Circa: 300 AD to 900 AD
Dimensions: 8.75" (22.2cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

$5,000.00
Location: United States
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Description
This vessel exudes a mysterious energy, an ancient intangible potency that is as radiant today as it ever was. 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. Two large panels carved in low relief depict scenes of ancient Mayan life. In one panel, a man, seated upon a raised platform, leans forward. He wears an elegant headdress filled with feathers that gently arch off to either side. He carries a large circular object, perhaps a shield, and a long staff or spear. The shield is engraved with a stylized face that might depict a god meant to frighten the enemy. The other panel depicts a scene with two figures. One, again, is seated upon an elevated platform, likely symbolizing his authority over the other. He leans forward and gestures towards the other man who is seated just below him. Both wear fanciful headdresses that reflect their high rank and elite position within the Mayan social hierarchy. It appears as though we are witnessing a scene of initiation ceremony or the delegation of power. These two scenes are separated by two vertical rectangular panels, glazed black, and painted with white hieroglyphs. These texts probably relate to the carved scenes, perhaps naming the figures and dating the timeframe of the events taking place. An upper band of engraved hieroglyphs completes the decoration. 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.6181)

 

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