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Post Lot Text
MAYAN CEREMONIAL OBSIDIAN SCEPTER
LATE CLASSIC, CA. A. D. 550-950
The handle and shaft of thick section, carefully chipped to represent the profile figure of a dignitary reminiscent of the God K or K'awiil, associated with lightning, standing with feet together, arm(?) extended, the face, portrait-like, with jutting jaw and aquiline nose, the eye gently recessed and wearing a distinctive, sweeping crescentic headdress with serrated edge extending down the back; of jet black semi-translucent obsidian (volcanic glass).
Eccentric flints are unique to Mayan culture. Shaped by flaking chips of obsidian or chert, possibly with a bone tool, these labor-intensive works were the products of skilled flint knappers.
In contrast to the more common abstract flint and obsidian weapons, the examples with human profiles could represent dead ancestors. Thus, the Maya worked material they thought was created by a bolt of lightning into an object which embodied and channeled power emanating from the souls of the dead.