Eccentric Obsidian Flint

Mayan, Classic Period, 600 – 900 A.D.

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Eccentric blade in form of a chieftain.

Mayan, Classic Period, 600 – 900 A.D.

Obsidian, Height: 10 1/2 inches

Inventory #00111

Knapped of obsidian, this blade takes the form of a silhouetted chief whose feathered headdress curls back over his head, and the profile of his face can be discerned. Very abstracted, this type of blade has no practical use, rather it was employed in rituals involving blood letting as a form of sacrifice and worship. When new, there would have been no safe way to handle the blade, it’s intent was to draw blood.

The skill required to knap volcanic glass into this complicated form is a testament to the high level that the pre-Columbian cultures had brought their stone working to.