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Bowl in the Form of a Head

The expressive quality and fine craftsmanship of this bowl are matched by very few ceramics from Monte Albán, the ancient ceremonial center in southern Mexico’s state of Oaxaca. Like the best-known ceramics from Monte Albán, which are urns in the form of figures, this bowl is gray ware, and, like the urns of similar date, it is a relatively simple, though enigmatic, image. Both human and animal forms are depicted on ceramics from the Monte Albán I period, and it is not entirely clear, which is portrayed here.

Oaxaca, Mexico
Bowl in the Form of a Head
Monte Albán I, 800–100 BC
Clay
H. 4 ¾ in. (12.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection, 81.32.4