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Creator Nationality: North American; Central American; Mesoamerican; Mayan
Creator Name-CRT: Mexico or Central America, Maya
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 250
Creation End Date: 900
Creation Date: c. 250-900
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Implements
Materials and Techniques: chipped flint
Dimensions: Overall: 30.48cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1997.170
Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
Style or Period: Mexico or Central America, Maya
Context: Axes with stone blades and wooden hafts were common utilitarian tools in ancient Mesoamerica, used to clear land for planting. Axes sometimes took on sacred associations through their use as decapitators in human sacrificial rites. This ceremonial context is clear in late Classic Maya vase painting. In the painted scenes, axe-wielding deities dance among skeletons and supernatural animals, or raise the axe to strike a sacrificial victim. This chipped-stone implement is a ceremonial version of a real axe; with both blade and haft made of chipped stone, it would have been too fragile for practical use. It was likely displayed in rituals before deposition in a tomb or offering deposit.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1997.170
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art
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