UNBROKEN MAYAN COMPLETE OBSIDIAN GORGET PENDANT WITH SUPERB EDGE KNAPPING
B.C. - 900 A.D.
all the ancient cultures of the Americas, no civilization has held more
intrigue and secrets for so long as that of the Mayans. In 1960,
their language code of glyphs was finally deciphered and forever changed
our view of what we initially thought was a peaceful and harmonious
society. On the contrary, the Mayan Culture of the latter years was bathed in the
blood of vicious warfare and astounding levels of human sacrifice.
Their technology was so advanced it is no wonder many believe they
received intelligence from extra-terrestrials. Despite our recent
discoveries of Mayan mathematics, astronomy and calendar technology, the
Mayans still leave us with many mysteries. Their love of war
caused them to manufacture spectacular weapons with inherent beauty and
artistry. Their ceramics depict a fascinating culture of status,
sacrifice and deep religious devotion to a number of strange gods.
This is a beautifully knapped, uncommon Mayan obsidian drilled gorget
pendant. Remarkably, despite its delicate nature, it has not been
broken as most are in antiquity. It has a tiny portion missing on
one end but the debris in the cracks show this happened in ancient
times. The workmanship and skill required to knap a piece like this must have
required nerves of steel because a thin sheet flake would have been
needed to start and then careful flaking all around the perimeter
without breaking this thin flake to form the crescent bow shape.
If that was successfully completed, an even more difficult task of
piercing both ends without breaking the piece was needed. This
seems nearly impossible to have done because the thinnest part of the gorget is on these ends. See photos above. This is a rare
form and due to its fragile design, seldom are these found unbroken.
A great piece to display examples of Mayan body adornment and jewelry.
See this page for similar examples.
Includes our written
unconditional lifetime certificate of
There is an ALARMING number of fake ancient
artifacts on the market. As fine quality intact, original
specimens become more scarce and techniques have become more
sophisticated to fake these artifacts. We have personally handled
numerous extremely well-done fakes
with convincing patinas that could fool most people. The degree to which the
fakers have been able to replicate patina to disguise their work
requires an expert examination by highly experienced individuals.
Like all rare collectibles, fakes plague the market.
Paleo Direct subjects
every piece we offer to a full analysis, cleaning and conservation
process in our on-site lab. How many dealers do this or have any
experience in operating their own lab?
The procedures we put each piece through are the same as we do for those
specimens destined for museums and the same procedures as the best
museums perform on their own collections. Deal only
with sources that are extremely knowledgeable in forgeries or altered
pieces and get a written guarantee of authenticity that has no
conditions or expiration period. Paleo Direct includes
this guarantee in writing with every item we sell. All purchases should
include from the dealer a written guarantee of authenticity with
unconditional and lifetime return policies regarding such guarantee.
understanding of the fascinating MAYAN CULTURE was completely wrong and
misinterpreted until as recent as the 1960, when major achievements were
made in the deciphering of their glyph language. Elaborately
designed ceremonial cities lacking any obvious defenses initially led us
to believe that the Mayans were a peaceful theocracy living in ideal
harmony with their environment and each other. We could not have
been further from the truth. Lowland city-states lived in constant
warfare with one another and the thirst of their gods for human blood
and sacrifice seemed impossible to satiate.
the Mayan Culture into different periods - LATE PRE-CLASSIC /
PROTO-CLASSIC (300 BC - 300 AD), EARLY CLASSIC (300 AD - 600 AD), LATE
CLASSIC (600 AD - 830 AD), TERMINAL CLASSIC (830 AD - 950 AD). The
earliest days of the Maya date back to 2000 BC when small farming
villages first appeared in the highlands and Pacific coastline of
Guatemala. Crops such as corn, squash and beans made up the staple
of their diet and are believed to have been brought from previous
migration through Mexico. The Maya pottery styles were unique to
the early Maya settlements, though. By 1000 BC, villages sprang up
in the lowland regions. The Maya lived in the same locations for
centuries and in a continuous state of architectural improvement and
expansion leading up to the magnificent 'super-cities' we associate with
them today. By 300 AD. full-scale cities were being built with
stone featuring massive plazas, temples and pyramids reaching 20 stories
It is no wonder that
some believe that extra-terrestrial beings brought their knowledge to
the Maya. By 300 AD, the first inscriptions suddenly appeared in
Maya sites. These early inscriptions were so beautiful it was as
if the gods had delivered it to the Mayan themselves! Forward to
600 years later and the inscriptions cease. The first
comprehensive writing system in Pre-Columbian America was invented by
the Maya. Among the mysteries of the Maya are their amazing
understanding of astronomy along with the development of an accurate
calendar and mathematical system. Their number system was based on
units of 20 and included a concept of 'zero'.
The skills of the
Mayan craft are exemplified in their stone and wood carvings, flaked
stone objects, pottery and personal adornment. Much of their art
centers around their devotion to a religion that is both fascinating and
gory. Blood-letting rituals were the norm and many acts of war
were motivated by the capture of vast numbers of their enemies for
ritual human sacrifice that would run for days on end, forming lakes of
blood and fat at the bases of their stone pyramids that defy
Perhaps a lesson for
us today, recent scientific analysis of the demise of the highly
advanced Mayan civilization now answers the biggest mystery of all -
"What ever happened to the ancient Mayans?". Long-term
high population density (500 people per square mile - the highest in the
world at the time) of unbelievable proportions put a strain on their
agricultural system that was impossible to sustain. The effects of
nutritional deficiencies are evident in bone and tooth analysis on
graves dating to the Late Classic Period. It is most probable that
starvation put unbearable sociopolitical stress on the society to either
kill each other for food or die of hunger necessitated by the
technological advancement of warfare and its escalation.
UNCOMMON TO FIND THESE INTACT AND COMPLETE - A NICE UNBROKEN EXAMPLE!
straight line measurement, 5.25" long by the curve
INCLUDES DISPLAY BOX
Actual Item - One Only
Michael D., The Maya, 1987
- Coe, Michael D.,
Breaking the Maya Code, 1992
- Fiedel, Stuart J., Prehistory of the Americas, 1992
- Freeman and Company, Early Man in America, 1973
- Hester, Thomas R. and Shafer, Harry J., Maya Stone Tools - Selected
Papers from the Second Maya Lithic Conference, Monographs in World
Archaeology No. 1, 1991
- Hirth Kenneth, Mesoamerican Lithic Technology - Experimentation and
- Hirth Kenneth, Obsidian Craft Production in Ancient Central Mexico,
- Marhenke, Randa, The Ancient Maya Codices, 1978
- Muser, Curt, Facts and Artifacts of Ancient Middle America, 1978
- Phillips, Charles, The Complete Illustrated History of the Aztec and
- Sharer, Robert J.; with Loa P. Traxler (2006). The Ancient Maya (6th
edition (fully revised) ed.). Stanford, CA
- Smith, A. Ledyard, Excavations at Altar De Sacrificios, Peabody Museum
of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Vol 62, No. 2, 1972
- Stuart, George E. (1992). "Quest for Decipherment:A Historical and
Biographical Survey of Maya Hieroglyphic Decipherment". In Elin C.
Danien and Robert J. Sharer (eds.). New Theories on the Ancient Maya.
University Museum Monograph series, no. 77. Philadelphia: University
Museum, University of Pennsylvania. pp. 1—64.
- Turner II, B.L. and Harrison, Peter D., Pulltrouser Swamp - Ancient
Maya Habitat, Agriculture and Settlement in Northern Belize, 1983
- Willey, Gordon R., The Artifacts of the Altar de Sacrificios, Peabody
Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Vol 64, No. 1,