A sculptor created this standing figure, whose legs were broken intentionally in antiquity, from a dense green schist. The figure stoically gazes forward with arms at its side. The disproportionately large head displays conventionalized features: a squared off head and ears, arching brows, and slightly protruding, partially open mouth. The ear holes, eyes, and mouth likely once held ornaments or inlays of shell, pyrite, or another precious material. Further drill holes under the ears may have been used to attach perishable materials such as clothing or a ceremonial bundle. Subtle, fluid incisions and raised areas indicate the rib cage, bend of the arm, wrist bones, and fingers. The surface is finely polished.
Standing figures of this scale and three-dimensional form are exceedingly rare in the corpus of Teotihuacan sculpture, with only about a dozen known examples. Similar sculptures excavated at the city center indicate that these types of works were used in private rituals in interior shrines, or created specifically for dedicatory or sacrificial offerings to be buried in pyramids or tunnels. The intentional nudity of the sculpture could refer to these sculptures as proxy war captives ready for sacrifice, with the violent removal of the sculptures’ legs as a final act of termination.
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