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Art of the Ancient Americas
Artist: Unknown

Urn Representing a Seated Man with a Tall Headdress

A.D. 300–600

Ceramic

23 1/2 in. (59.7 cm)
Gift of the Olsen Foundation
1958.15.4
This urn probably dates toward the end of the epoch of transition from period II to IIa. Boos noted that the “overhanging, sombrero-type of headdress … and the urn’s monumentality” would indicate a date within this transitional period, as would the heavy, curled lips and the summary, blocklike treatment of the body above the knees. On the other hand, the size and elaboration of the headdress, the broad face, and the developed form of the Cocijo mask are characteristic of period III. The Cocijo mask is noteworthy for the incisions on its lower half, which is normally rendered in relief. The lower section of the pectoral ornament seems elongated with others of its type.
Geography: 
Made in Oaxaca, Mexico
Status: 
Not on view
Culture: 
Mexico, Central Oaxaca, Zapotec
Period: 
Early Classic Period
Classification: 
Containers - Ceramics
Provenance: 

Fred H. Olsen (1891–1986), and Florence Quittenton Olsen, Guilford, Conn.; gift in 1958 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

George A. Kubler, ed., Pre-Columbian Art of Mexico and Central America (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1986), 100–1, 260, no. 208, fig. 101.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.