Vessel with water bird and hieroglyphic text
A Maya artist of the Late Classic Period (ca. A.D. 650–900) hand built this hemispherical ceramic drinking cup out of orange-brown clay from the northern Yucatan Peninsula. Before firing, the surface of the clay was gouged and incised to create a cartouche enclosing a water bird (perhaps cormorant or a heron) grasping an object, and a diagonal band of six hieroglyphic text blocks. The dark brown mineral slip and style of carving are characteristic of a ceramic style known as Chocholá, named after a small town in the northern Yucatan Peninsula from which similar vessels reportedly came.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.