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Carved Bowl

Carved Bowl

1200-300 BC

Stone (travertine)

Overall: 13.3 x 23.5 x 10.2 cm (5 1/4 x 9 1/4 x 4 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2013.29

Fun Fact

Travertine is a type of limestone deposit commonly found in caves and hot springs.

Description

Containers made of translucent white travertine, known among the later Aztecs as tecali, are rare in Olmec artistic production. The shape of this elegant example, its rim pinched inward at the center, may refer to a squash. The meaning of the deeply carved abstract motifs, which retain traces of red pigment, is unknown. The bowl is said to have been found in a burial cache that included an Olmec figurine, a hematite mirror, and jade ornaments in Guerrero, Mexico.

See also
Collection: 
AA - Mesoamerica
Department: 
Art of the Americas
Type of artwork: 
Stone

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