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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Basalt Metates and Altars : Atlantic Watershed Circular Basalt Metate
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Atlantic Watershed Circular Basalt Metate - PF.2816
Origin: Eastern Coast of Costa Rica
Circa: 700 AD to 1000 AD
Dimensions: 6.25" (15.9cm) high x 10.25" (26.0cm) depth
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Basalt

Location: United States
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The metate was originally used as a means of transforming maize into flour for human consumption. However, it was also used in religious rituals as a primary mortuary symbol, which promised rebirth and new life. This circular metate may have been buried in the tomb of a powerful person as a tool of transformation in the human life cycle. Four figures, two avian and two human, support the circular plate of the metate. About the rim of the metate are carved geometric patterns that add to the elegance of design in this stunning work of art. The Costa Ricans' complete mastery of the medium coupled with an aesthetic that was sensitive to the natural and supernatural world, resulted in the highly spirited masterpiece of sculpted stone, ageless in its ability to stimulate our senses. - (PF.2816)


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