Vessel with water bird and hieroglyphic text


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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.

Vessel with water bird and hieroglyphic text, Ceramic, Maya

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