The construction of the main structures in Calakmul began during the preclassic period (ca. 400 BC) and had continuity and growth throughout the following periods. This vessel in an Inciso Urita Gubiado style is an example in shining dark brown color characteristic in the preclassic and early classic period. The concave lid has a human face for handle with eyes closed and a zoomorphic headdress representing an owl; an animal related to the underworld. From the earflaps hangs a fabric or soft pendant. It has a distinctive necklace of the god Itzamnaaj. The four stands seem to represent peccary heads with the mouth downwards symbolizing the pillars of the cosmos in each cardinal point or the Gemini constellation for the ancient Mayans. The vessel contained solid food leftovers, probably cacao, which could have been eaten by the dead lord when going to the underworld. It is worth to mention, that the handle repeats the headdress and the features of the funerary jade and shell mask of the buried person in the Tomb I in the Structure III in Calakmul from where this piece is.Dra. Federica Sodi MirandaColaboradores: Arqlgo. Hugo Herrera Torres Araceli Ruiz Peláez Mtro. Hugo García Capistran.


  • Title: Cajete Tetrápodo
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: 0300/0850
  • Physical Location: México
  • Physical Dimensions: w224 x h367 cm (complete)
  • Period: Clásico (300-850 d.C.)
  • Calakmul, Campeche: Maya
  • Type: Vessel
  • Rights: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia., INAH. Proyecto de Digitalización de las Colecciones Arqueológicas del Museo Nacional de Antropología. CONACULTA-CANON-MNA.
  • External Link: http://www.mna.inah.gob.mx
  • Medium: Arcilla

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps