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Chert biface, Rosalila cache, Copan (Artifact 90-2) (CPN P2710)

By Peabody Museum on Sketchfab

From "Individual Descriptions of Bifaces and Eccentrics" by Payson Sheets. Appendix to Protecting Sacred Space: Rosalila's Eccentric Chert Cache at Copan and Eccentrics among the Classic Maya by Ricardo Agurcia Fasquelle, Payson Sheets, and Karl Andreas Taube (Monograph 2, Precolumbia Mesoweb Press, San Francisco, 2016):

This is one of two smaller chert bifaces from the Rosalila cache. This biface shows considerable manufacturing skill compared to the usual chert artifact manufacture in Classic-period Maya sites. However, compared to the large biface and the finer eccentrics, this was made by a less skilled artisan in the chert workshop. The evidence is in the minor but fairly common step and hinge fractures on both faces, the less regular outline, and the lack of a sharp pointed tip. It is stemmed, but not quite symmetrically. Both sides of the base of the stem have relatively moderate amounts of cinnabar adhering. It is possible that manioc provided the binder for the cinnabar, as the liquid extracted from it is an effective glue. The underside toward the base has a brownish incrustation that could be barkcloth. Near it is a possible fragment of wood, which may be a deliberate or inadvertent inclusion in the cache. Both of these two smaller bifaces are made from the same chert as all the eccentrics. It is a brown color and exceptionally fine-grained.

Many tiny flecks of blue pigment are visible on both faces, with a few of them clearly coming from fabric remnants. The blue was thus not painted on, but came from the cloth wrapping that was put on after the cinnabar was applied.

Length 154 mm. Width 43 mm. Thickness 8.3 mm. Weight 65 grams.

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