Museum Collections - Mesoamerica - Maya (Before A.D. 1520) - Artifact #5

Tetra-pod vessel - Maya (Before A.D. 1520)

WHO: Maya culture

WHERE: Lowland Guatemala

WHEN: Early Classic Period, A.D. 495-544

WHAT: This lidded tetra-pod vessel is representative of a lagoon environment. The lid of the dish features a beautiful handle in the shape of the curved neck and head of a water bird, possibly a cormorant. In the bird's mouth is a fish. The top of the lid and the body of the vessel are decorated with swirling designs which might be symbolic of water.

The four legs of the dish are thought to be representative of the legs of the peccary, pig-like animals native to Central and South America which often forage for food in wetland areas.
Height: 22.8cm

HOW: Hand-formed earthenware, polychrome slip decoration.

MUSEUM: Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art. G83.1.103

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