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Vessel in the Form of an Opossum

This vessel is said to have been found in Las Bocas, an archaeological site in the state of Puebla to which a high number of ceramics have been attributed. It is part of a group of finely made containers in the form of animals from the Central Mexican Highlands that have been associated with Olmec culture or influence in that area. Although we do not know whether the opossum, a common animal, had special significance for Early Formative peoples, since the Classic period they were associated with old age and pulque, an alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant.

Las Bocas (?), Mexico
Vessel in the Form of an Opossum
Early Formative period, 1200–900 BC
Clay, pigment
H. 9 7/8 in. (25.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Evan F. Lilly Memorial, Gift of Thomas T. Solley, 80.51