Artifacts - Mexico and Central America



Costa Rican

Ceremonial Pestle

probably Atlantic Watershed / Central Highlands

circa 500-1000AD

collected circa 1970


From a California private collection 


Mayan ceremonial pestle from Costa Rica.  Brown clay with a dark patina around middle from handling. Anthropomorphic effigy form with some animal characteristics, possibly jaguar or monkey.  Large lips, bared teeth, protruding ears.

Drilled in three places, just below ears and in front of neck, probably for stringing, possibly worn as a ceremonial pendant.  Incised rows of dots bounded by  lines on shaft and back of head.  Traces of white and possibly red ochre pigment in lines, indicating the piece was probably painted when new.   Rounded base, worn from use.  Probably used to grind herbs, powders, or other light substances for medicinal or ritual use.  Overall a fascinating and unusual piece in great condition.


Excellent condition.  No chips or cracks. Lovely patina. No repairs.

dimensions: approx 2" diameter at base x 8" tall 

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