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Cylindrical Vessel

Date:
6th–9th century
Geography:
Guatemala or Mexico, Mesoamerica
Culture:
Maya
Medium:
Ceramic
Dimensions:
H. 7 7/8 x Diam. 6 1/4 in. (18.1 x 15.9 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Containers
Credit Line:
Anonymous Gift, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.435
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 358
This polychrome cylindrical vessel is identified by the text around the rim as a Classic Maya (ca. a.d. 250-900) "drinking cup." The design layout is less common than the full figure scenes and deity depictions seen on many Maya vessels. The interpretation of the well drawn profile deity head is that it may be one of many forms of a watery serpent creature, a common image in Maya art, often with smoke clouds issuing from the top, bottom, left and right side of the head. The split scroll motifs could also be read as representing vegetal forms linking the deity to agriculture, spring, and the concept of regeneration and regrowth.
Private collection, New York, until 2005

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