**Originally Listed At $2000**
Pre-Columbian, Costa Rica, Atlantic Watershed, ca. 800 to 1200 CE. A huge, heavy mortar stone with a used, deeply convex grinding surface and its exterior banded with a register of repeated low relief motifs including several depicting a bird with its wings spread wide. This motif has been interpreted as an eagle, and it was an important one in ancient Costa Rica. This mortar was hand-carved from grey, porous, volcanic stone, and made to grind materials for the ritual ingestion of hallucinogenic drugs, an important religious activity in Mesoamerican cultures. Size: 13" W x 4.75" H (33 cm x 12.1 cm)
Stone mortar technology developed initially for the utilitarian purpose of grinding corn; however, it evolved into the creation of meaningful ritual objects, replete with strong iconography and intriguing sculptural forms. Examples of a larger scale but similar degree of decorative carving and iconographic symbolism were sometimes used to seat a departed lord on his journey to the afterlife.
Provenance: collection of the late Alfred E. Stendahl, Stendahl Gallery, Los Angeles, California, USA
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