Mexico, 15th-16th century AD
An icon of Aztec* art, this striking object was probably worn on ceremonial occasions as a pectoral (an ornament worn on the chest).
It is carved from cedar wood (Cedrela odorata) that is hollowed from the back and covered with turquoise mosaic.
Serpent imagery occurs throughout the iconography of Mesoamerica. The serpent forms part of several Aztec/Mexica deities including Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent), Xiuhcoatl (Fire Serpent) and Mixcoatl (Cloud Serpent) and Coatlicue (Snakes