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Eccentric, Rosalila cache, Copan (Artifact 90-5) (CPN P2760)

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):

In terms of crafting skill this eccentric is about midway between the exceptionally well-made ones and the less well-made ones. It is moderate in elaborateness and shows considerable skill in manufacture. Manufacturing difficulties in terms of step or hinge fractures are rare, with a few more on the bottom than on the top side. The final finishing is not quite to the standard of the most finely finished of these eccentrics. If there were more than two artisans in the chert workshop, this could have been made by a senior apprentice. It is also possible that it was made by the master, who decided to produce a less complex one, perhaps under time pressure to complete the cache.

In contrast to Artifacts 90-3, 90-4 and 90-9, where one person did most of the shaping and apparently another did finishing touches, this eccentric could well have been made entirely by one person, from the first series of flakes (percussion) through the second series (indirect percussion) and the final series (pressure). Only small amounts of cinnabar red pigment are visible. After the cinnabar was added, the eccentric was wrapped in blue and green fabric, with barkcloth wrapped around the complete bundle.

Length (height) 355 mm. Width 165 mm. Thickness 16 mm. Weight 404 grams.

The stem retains a facet at the base, as with most of these eccentrics. It has only a tiny trace of cortex remaining on it. The principal figure appears to be seated on a chair or throne, indicated by the two downward projections that may be the legs of the chair or throne. His legs may be indicated by the downward curl below the torso. The principal figure is carefully shaped by pressure flaking, so the outline of forehead, face, torso, and back are finished quite well. What is unusual about this eccentric compared to the other eccentrics in this cache is that his lips are not individuated by notching on the ventral and dorsal sides. The other anthropomorphic faces on the other eccentrics had careful pressure flaking done to create the pursed lips.

The principal figure has a double-element headdress consisting of two curving serrated crests. The notching on the top one is oblique and may represent lightning, while the notching on the back one is straight-in, presumably depicting feathers. The top crest has 28 oblique notches, and the back crest has 30 straight notches. There is no smoking/burning torch of K'awiil on the forehead of the principal figure. The elongated forehead may be referencing the Maize deity.

The arm of the principal figure is extended outward, as with the other eccentrics (except for Artifact 90-7), but in this case only for a short distance. The hand is holding an anthropomorphic face that is carefully shaped, but the lips are not individually defined on this face either. Above the head is a headdress that appears to be a bird, an owl or a turkey. If a bird is depicted, its feet also look like the smoking celt/torch of K'awiil. It is possible that both were intended by the artisan. The most prominent oblique notching on this eccentric is on this element, and it was achieved by seven notches, larger on the front and diminishing toward the back. It probably was intended to be an ascending series. If the oblique notching depicts lightning, it would be appropriate that the item below it is the smoking cranial element of K'awiil.

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