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After Much Controversy, Authenticity of Teotihuacan's Mask" Verified

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Author Topic: After Much Controversy, Authenticity of Teotihuacan's Mask" Verified  (Read 267 times)
Sentihauke
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« on: December 11, 2010, 08:23:47 pm »

A piece that unites two periods in time
Malinaltepec Mask is a Teotihuacan-style funerary object used in 2 different moments: it was created during the Classic period (200-900 AD) and used again in a funeral during the Post Classic period (900-1521 AD). It is 21 centimeters both long and wide, and 762 tesserae are adhered to it. It is one of the emblematic pieces at the Teotihuacan Hall of the National Museum of Anthropology.

Restorer Sofia Martinez del Campo mentioned that when it was created, the mask was not covered with mosaic. Nearly 700 years after, amazonite tesserae were inlayed, a mineral that was associated by Teotihuacan culture to Chalchiuhtlicue, goddess of fertility and water.

“This is its meaning, according to the nose ornament made out of shell, the blue color of amazonite and turquoise, as well as the element in the front that might symbolize fertility and represent Malinaltepec.

“Mesoamerican people treasured pieces of past cultures, recovering Olmeca and Teotihuacan masks from funerary contexts and re appropriating them later to give them different uses”, detailed the restorer.

“Its function during the Classic period is unknown, it might have been part of a sculpture or attached to an architectural structure; during the Post Classic, it was used to bury it with an important character.

“It was then when they covered it with shell, turquoise and amazonite fragments, to give it the face of Chalchiuhtlicue; according to ancient beliefs, it would allow the departed to present in the underworld and ascend to the celestial level with the face of a divinity. We do not know if it was used by a man or a woman”, concluded Martinez del Campo.

 

Source:  Art Daily

For more information:  http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=42788

http://www.archnews.co.uk/world-archaeology/american-archaeology/4221-authenticity-of-teotihuacan-s-the-malinaltepec-mask-verified.html
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