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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Tlatilco Art : Tlatilco Tripod Dish with Four Figures
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Tlatilco Tripod Dish with Four Figures - PF.0734
Origin: Tlatilco, Mexico
Circa: 900 BC to 500 BC
Dimensions: 7" (17.8cm) high x 8.5" (21.6cm) wide
Catalogue: V2
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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The ancient site of Tlantilco in the valley of Mexico came to light in 1936, during excavations carried out by brick workers digging for clay. While removing the clay in order to make bricks, these workmen discovered a large number of burials, in which were placed delicately modeled figurines, such as this remarkable example. Later excavations in the area, performed by archaeologists, revealed that these burials formed a portion of a very large village, Tlatilco, located west of the Great Lake on a small stream, and settled by about 1200 B.C. The figurines that appear in these ancient burials reveal that they are the most aesthetically satisfying in Ancient Mexico.

Four figures hover expectantly on the outer rim of this vessel; directly in front of each is a hollow depression formed by one of the legs. In the center a man wearing a tall pyramidal hat waves his arms as if engaged in a ceremony. There is an air of anticipation about this piece, a feeling that some peculiar ritual is about to reach its high point. If we turn away for even a moment, we might miss the climax. - (PF.0734)


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