reddish ceramic jar with incised decoration on four sides; groove design feature, around lip indicates the jar has a screw on cover

Chocolate Pot, c. 750

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Gift of Harold and Rada Fredriksonexpand_more  97.92.6

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Cacao - or chocolate - was a sign of wealth and power among the ancient Maya. Cacao seeds were used as currency, and ground cacao mixed with water and chiles was a stimulant consumed at celebrations. Archaeological evidence shows cacao beverages were consumed at least as early as 1000 BCE This example from nearly 2 millennia later is one of only three known of a type of squat jar with screw-on, locking lids. The lid that once fit this vessel has not been preserved. It has four glyphs in the ancient Maya language around the outside, three describe the place of origin, owner, and shape of the vessel; the fourth - illustrated above - is the glyph for "cacao," confirming its ancient function as a chocolate pot.

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Maya, Chocolate Pot (#405)
Details
Title
Chocolate Pot
Role
Artist
Accession Number
97.92.6
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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reddish ceramic jar with incised decoration on four sides; groove design feature, around lip indicates the jar has a screw on cover