Feb 11, 2017
Feathered Headdress Figurine Found in Untouched 1,700-Year-Old Tomb
Archaeologists discovered the ancient tomb, which dates to the Comala Period (between 0 and A.D. 500), during work to remodel a Seventh-day Adventist church in Colima, Mexico. The archaeologists uncovered a hole that was sealed up with stones, artifacts for grinding, and human bones.
Inside, 12 skulls and other bones were piled atop one another in a haphazard manner. Some of the skulls showed signs of damage, as well as tooth fractures and wear, said Rosa María Flores Ramírez, a physical anthropologist at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in Mexico.
When the archaeologists explored further, they discovered three burial levels. In the second burial level, the team found two figurines — a male and female — placed facedown next to two skulls.
The male figurine, which measures 15 inches (39 centimeters) tall and 6 inches (15 cm) wide, was wearing a feathered headdress with a horn jutting out from it. In his hand, he holds an ax.
The female figurine, which is 12.5 inches by 5.5 inches (32 by 14 cm), shows a woman with a sharp nose and a triangular head. She wears a banded headdress and has her hands crossed, with the right hand holding a pot. The burial also contained two other pots.
Each of the figures was sculpted from fine paste that was polished when complete. The ancient artists used cuts to etch in the facial features.
"The presence of these pieces in the offering hint at the worldview of the groups that inhabited the Colima valley in that period. The sculptures, according to their attributes, served as propitiatory elements that ensured the protection of the deceased, as is the case with the male sculpture, which represents a shaman. The other objects fulfilled the function of bringing the requirements to the underworld," Rafael Platas Ruíz, an archaeologist at the INAH, said in a translated statement.
Read more at Discovery News