Mayan Twin Vessels

Mayan Twin Vessels
Mayan Twin Vessels

This beautiful ceramic piece is in the National Museum of Archeology and Ethnology of Guatemala, since it was found at a site in that Central American country where theMayan culture and where there are places as spectacular as the city of Tikal and its different temples.


Mayan Twin Vessels

Although, Tikal would correspond to the classic period of the Maya, while this piece of the so-called plumbeware is ascribed to the Postclassic period.

Their most obvious characteristic is that they are two vessels connected to each other and with an identical modeled and incised decoration on both.

We have qualified the piece of leaden pottery, since there is a type of similar works that are grouped under the name “Tohil Leaden” and are characterized by the shiny appearance it provides the progressive vitrification of the fired clay with which they were modelled.

And the second characteristic of this type of pieces is their very special decorative motifs, since they are usually effigies, both of humans and of gods or animals.

This is a very elegant and high-quality type of pottery, which is why whenever it has been found, it is associated with high-ranking areas such as temples with their ceremonial spaces and offerings, and also in the tombs of the most powerful characters of the time.

And the truth isthat in this context have been found in very distant places in almost all of Central America, from Chichen Itza in Mexico to locations in Panama. From this, it follows that they were highly coveted objects and were traded.

There has been much speculation about the origin of all these pieces, and not without controversy, most scholars of the Mayan civilization, consider that they would be made in the territory border between Chiapas in Mexico and Guatemala itself. And that for a time it was thought that they would come from Tula (also Mexico) since some of the effigies are related to the Toltec culture.

In short, these beautiful vases are considered Mayan, and more specifically from the post-classical period of that civilization of Mesoamerica. A style of pottery, that of Plumbate Tohil that disappeared around 1250, precisely at the time that the Mexicanized peoples reached the Altos de Guatemala, where it is found the city of Quetz altenango where these small but beautiful twin vessels were found.

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