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11847Re: [Precolumbian_Inscriptions] Mayan/Olmec Drinking Vessel

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  • aumsparky@earthlink.net
    Feb 2, 2012
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      hi dick, all
         these pics may be too high of resolution for email.  my client stalled my email acct, at 10mb.  i did go online email to see them.  there is a photo upload on group main at yahoo. 
         after seeing how it was made, with the prominent sturdy legs, it doesnt seem to be a drinking cup.  i didnt see any certain glyphs.  it is badly faded. 
         i dont know how the detail could be enhanced.  distilled water might help, wet sometimes brings it out.  before chemicals could be tried safely, the dyes and glazing should be identified.  then try a sample on a leg. 
         so far, not enough can be seen well, to even identify the culture. 
         its nice to have such items in one's cabinet, but more might be gained if the local experts were brought in.  if they want it in the museum, they should have you identified as the donor. 
         on a calm river it may float, but i was thinking a tsunami may have carried it, or a spring freshet washed it from a bank upstream.  the experts should look for other relics in the area.  the relic has such fine detail intact, that its possible that someone buried it in the clay.  it may have been a votive bowl temple offering, or from a person's home altar. 
         someone else may be able to add comment upon it.  at least you know where it was found, so many items ive bought from estates, have unknown provenance.  i wonder at what depth in the clay it was found. 
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2012 1:25 AM
      Subject: Re: [Precolumbian_Inscriptions] Mayan/Olmec Drinking Vessel


          do not try to clean it yet.  a mistake cannot be undone.  the clay may have protected it.  lets hope the air wont crumble it.  with enough time, even pottery decomposes. 
         was the site near a river?  it may indicate more relics upstream, ruins or tombs. 
         dick, were you born there, or relocated? 
         we recently reviewed books by astute travellers to that region, squiers in particular.  are there ruins nearby?  near what city or village?  i dont know the laws on antiquities there.  maybe contact a museum curator in managua.  there might be info on cleaning and preserving pottery online.  probably vegetable dyes were used. 
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 11:40 PM
      Subject: Re: [Precolumbian_Inscriptions] Mayan/Olmec Drinking Vessel


          welcome to the group.  you have acquired an interesting item.  determining its purpose or use, may take longer.  i would recommend making photographs of the cup, the higher the resolution the better.  it sounds like there are inscriptions, that should be studied.  strange that it was found in clay, without a burial or other objects.  perhaps an ancient traveller lost it, or waves carried it there. 
          northern nicaragua is near several high cultures of ancients, which may have overlapped.  the face and extent of land in that region may have changed much over recent ages. 
          besides the maya, cholulan refugees settled there.  atlantean relics from two periods might be found.  the earliest is associated with the stone balls of costa rica. 
         your description was good and detailed, but seeing it, and recording the glyphs, is an important next step.  i dont think the cup was for daily use, which makes it more interesting.  its amazing that the cup survived intact. 
         its fascinating and a mystery, why the earliest people settled to the south.  we should specify it as among the first of high culture in central america. 
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Dick
      Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 10:27 PM
      Subject: [Precolumbian_Inscriptions] Mayan/Olmec Drinking Vessel


      I'm in northern Nicaragua, and last week when I went to buy some locally made bricks,I bought an item that the owner said was excavated on his property, while he was digging clay for his bricks. The item appears to be a drinking vessel. It has three legs with finger holes and what appear to be thumbrests on two of the legs. The bowl area is approximately eight inches in diameter, and the three legs protrude about an inch from that. There is a gargoyle type head protruding on one side, and a damaged protrusion on the opposite side (much like a frog's nose and eyes. The finish is faded off-white paint or glaze with much crazing. There are what appear to be blue lines inside at the bottom edge that ring the bowl, and numerous different panels? painted all around the inside wall. Most of these are faded and although fairly simple line drawings, are not easy to describe. One, may be a snake with an open mouth at the left, with the body extending to the right and curving upward to what may be a head. then a smaller head and body with outstretched arms sitting in the lap of the snake/man/woman. There are also numerous panels around the outside, some with the blue and what appears to be a dull red.
      Is there any safe way to clean this? Can anybody tell me what it was used for? I would think that it was ceremonial, probably too big for blood, so maybe chocolate.
      Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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