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Eccentric, Rosalila cache, Copan (Artifact 90-3) (CPN P2761)

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 eccentric shares sufficient characteristics with Artifacts 90-4 and 90-9 that they all evidently were made by the same artisan. All have only one anthropomorphic face and an arm extended upward with two or three fingers, and the finishing of the head and arm is notably more carefully done than the rest of the artifact. All three of them feature the K'awiil maize deity as the principal figure. All have a somewhat irregular center line, with curves in the stem, and the lack of a rigid straight centerline running up the rest of the eccentric, in contrast to the formality of eccentrics 90-7, 90-8, and 90-10. All have three projections with multiple "teeth" in the lower portion, but above the stem. And those projections are quite similar in their shapes and the fact that they vary from simpler to a bit more complex. All three have semi-circular forms that may have been almost as important to shape as the projections that outline them. All have elaborate notched headdress crests, but they differ in how they were achieved. And all have similar numbers of hinge and step fractures on both faces and large scars from slightly irregular percussion/indirect percussion manufacture from the earlier stages of manufacture. All have similar errors/breaks experienced when the notching was done on projections.

Length (height) 308 mm. Width 115 mm. Thickness 14 mm. Weight 356 grams. Length of cortex 3.6 mm.

Artifact 90-3 has a significant zone of cortex at the bottom of the stem. Above the stem are three projections with teeth and one small projection that looks like a little tail. The notching is not very uniform, with notch diameters of about 6 mm (created by a pressure flaker with a tip of that diameter). The front projection has five notches and six "teeth" but the topmost element was broken, presumably in manufacture. If complete it would have had seven teeth. The two projections behind the primary figure also have irregular notching. The top one has four notches and five teeth, while the lower one has three notches and four teeth. The uppermost projection flares out and has no notches.

The back of the headdress has slightly more regular notching, with three notches creating four teeth. At the top is a break that removed one tooth and most of the notch, so if it were complete it would have had four notches and five teeth. The main headdress is elaborate, with careful notching progressing from smaller to larger toward the front, culminating in an elegant double flare above the person's head. It has the appearance of a multi-legged upside-down animal but more likely is portraying feathers.

The final pressure flaking to regularize the forehead, face, neck, and arm, along with the back of the head and shoulder, is notably more finely done than elsewhere on this piece. A smaller diameter pressure flaker, presumably deer antler, was used to create the lips of the open mouth and the two fingers. It was about 4-5 mm in diameter, the same diameter as that used by the master to achieve the fine notching on the six ultra-sophisticated eccentrics. It appears that the person who did most of the manufacture handed the eccentric to a different flaker who more carefully finished these details. After it was manufactured, cinnabar was added, followed by large amounts of blue, green, and brown fabrics, and then some barkcloth on top of the colored cloth layers.

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