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Ear Effigies, One of Pair

Arts of the Americas

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
  • Place Made: Mexico
  • DATES 800-500 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Preclassic Period or Middle Formative
    DIMENSIONS 2 1/4 x 1 1/2 in. (5.7 x 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
    CREDIT LINE Collection of Robin B. Martin
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Olmec. Ear Effigies, One of Pair, 800-500 B.C.E. Jade, 2 1/4 x 1 1/2 in. (5.7 x 3.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Collection of Robin B. Martin, L77.37.1. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE group, L77.37.1_L77.37.2_transp5631.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION One of a pair of Olmec jade ear effigies. The naturalistic carving of these effigies beautifully conveys the cartilaginous structure and texture of real ears. The holes in the lobes may have held attachments because if they were worn as pendants, the ears would have hung upside down. The function of these isolated, body parts is unknown, although they may have been used as funerary ornaments.
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