Museum Collections - Mesoamerica - Zapotec - Artifact #2

Ceramic vessel with bridge spout - Zapotec

WHO: Zapotec culture

WHERE: Oaxaca, Mexico

WHEN: Late Preclassic Period, Monte Albán II, 100 B.C. - A.D. 250

WHAT:This round vessel, with a bridge-spout, features the head of an opossum on its neck. The orientation of the spout on this vessel, which is higher than the lip and angled backwards, would not have allowed for effective pouring.

The exact use of the spout on such pots is still debated. Matching vessel forms from Maya sites of the same time period are often called "chocolate pots". Recent studies have determined that some such vessels contained residue consistent with use as containers for Maya cacao beverages. The froth of a cacao beverage was considered highly prestigious, suggesting that the spout was used for blowing frothing air into. To date, no residue tests have been performed on this vessel.
Diameter: 21cm

HOW: Hand modeled, unslipped burnished grey earthenware with incised decoration.

MUSEUM: Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art. G83.1.90

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