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Urn in the Form of a Seated Figure

This compelling but cryptic figure is a type associated with the Zapotec people who built the ceremonial center of Monte Albán, the largest ancient American site in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Most such ceramic figural urns have been found in tombs as part of elite burials, though some were also placed in the floors of ceremonial complexes and buried in boxes. The urns show no evidence of having held food, drink, human remains, or incense, although some have been found with offerings of small objects, such as carved jade.

Zapotec culture, Oaxaca, Mexico
Urn in the Form of a Seated Figure
Monte Albán II, 200 BC–AD 200
H. 11 7/16 in. (29.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection, 2010.51