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Eccentric, Rosalila cache, Copan (Artifact 90-4) (CPN P2765)

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 is one of the least complex of the group of nine. In the general domain of lithic manufacture, it is of course impressive in the details depicted of the face and arm of the anthropomorphic figure, the serrated crest headdress, and other details. Compared to the other eight it is the least complex in morphology and iconography, and the artisan experienced some difficulties in manufacture. There are some large percussion flake scars from early stages of manufacture on both faces, over 5 cm long, and a few of them end in step and hinge fractures. A mistake was made in manufacture when a short (est. 10 mm) section of the front of the headdress crest broke off, leaving a blunt end. It was not re-flaked into a feather edge. Very small patches of red pigment (evidently cinnabar) were seen on both faces, with larger patches on the stem.

The serrated headdress crest has 16 notches and 16 teeth. The notches in the headdress and the other three projections are relatively large and were made with a pressure flaker with a point diameter of about 6 mm. The flaker presumably was deer antler. The flaker that made the mouth and the finger notches was smaller, with a diameter of about 5 mm. The larger notches in the headdress are fairly consistently made, but the notches in the other three projections are more irregular. In contrast, the hand and mouth notching is more finely done, as is the flaking from the top of the forehead, through the face, and along the body including the arms. It is possible that the apprentice did the majority of the manufacture, with the master doing the final finishing of the face, arm, and hand with its three fingers. The only place where very fine pressure flaking was done is from the top of the forehead through the face and neck and all the way around the arm. The size, care, success, and end product of the fine pressure flaking is identical to that done all the way around the six more complex eccentrics that are here attributed to the master.

The projection below the arm has four notches, creating five "teeth." Because of the number and the location, the reference might be to toes. However, the upper back projection has the same number of teeth and notches. The lower one is not well finished, and it is unclear what its form was intended to be. It has one clear notch, one partially formed one, and two that barely qualify.

After completion of the manufacture and application of the paint, it was wrapped in blue, green, and brown fabric.

Length (height) 280 mm. Width 125 mm. Thickness 16.5 mm. Weight 341 grams.

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