h4053-l99492351

11th Century Costa Rican Central Highlands Chocolate-Ware Tripod Bowl

A large Pre-Columbian 11th Century Tripod Bowl Excavated from Costa Rica’s Central Highlands in the Las Mercedes Region | It is a beautiful chocolate-ware tripod bowl | 1000 – 1050 AD | Has wonderful 360-degree iconographic motif register, raptor, monster-head legs | Extremely Well Preserved Archeological Find

Description
Additional information
  • A large Pre-Columbian 11th Century Tripod Bowl Excavated from Costa Rica’s Central Highlands in the Las Mercedes Region | It is a beautiful chocolate-ware tripod bowl | 1000 – 1050 AD | Has wonderful 360-degree iconographic motif register, raptor, monster-head legs | Dimensions: 10 ¼ in x 6 ½ in (26 x 15.8 cm). | Extremely Well Preserved Archeological Find – Has light deposits, root marks on surfaces. cf. Lothrop, Pottery of Costa Rica and Nicaragua Vol. II, p. 248 for design.

    Ancient Costa Rica – Central Region

    The people of Costa Rica’s Central region took stone carving to its greatest heights, producing not only metates but a wide array of sculptural forms. Most famous are the elaborate “flying panel” metates (about A.D. 1-500). As in Greater Nicoya, these were incorporated into burials, along with mace-head finials and jade ornaments. Carved from solid blocks of volcanic stone, flying panel metates have flat upper plates with low rims above three vertical legs that also support intricate, openwork sculptures. These incorporate long-beaked birds-sometimes pecking at severed heads; crocodiles or caimans; felines; monkeys; bats; and humans (frequently animal-headed or wearing masks). Costa Rica’s highly decorated metates probably derived their prestige and symbolic importance from several factors. Metates were used to grind food like maize (consumed in Costa Rica both as a food and in the form of chicha, an alcoholic beverage) and perhaps other substances such as medicines or magical ingredients. The owner of a fancy metate proclaimed his or her control over both the substances and their preparation. The animal forms and symbolic motifs carved on the metates must have imbued the prepared substances with additional power. Finally, metates’ possible use as thrones, funerary biers, and grave offerings served to emphasize the elevated rank and power of the noble owner.

    The largest Central region sites, like Guayabo and Las Mercedes (about A.D. 700-1500), were extremely impressive, with broad paved causeways, plazas, and numerous stone-clad mounds surmounted by very large thatched houses. Such large settlements probably served as the residences of powerful chiefs who dominated smaller sites and local leaders in the surrounding region. Free-standing sculptures of human beings were displayed atop mounds and in plazas to impress (and sometimes intimidate) both residents and visitors. Males are often portrayed as warriors or prisoners, or wear crocodile masks and “wedding cake” (flaring tiered) headdresses. Women frequently hold their breasts, perhaps indicating abundance. Additional sculpture types include circular metates or seats, metates in the form of felines, and effigy heads that portray either ancestors or decapitated enemies. Stone slabs with carved decoration along the top and sides apparently served as grave markers, or possibly biers.

  • Weight

    3lb.

    Height

    6.5"

    Width

    10"

    Depth

    10"

    Weight

    3lb.

    Height

    6.5"

    Width

    10"

    Depth

    10"

    Date

    11th Century

    Medium

    Terracotta

    Origin

    Costa Rica