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Armadillo

San Rodrigo Aljojuca, District Chalicomula, 150-650 A.D.
Height: 12 cm; width: 17,5 cm; depth: 10,4 cm
Col. Seler, 1912
ID IV Ca 35750
National Museums in Berlin, Ethnological Museum
The vessel in the form of an armadillo belongs to the clay objects that have become known as Fine-Orange ceramics. The first description of Fine-Orange pottery was by the Berlin Mexican Studies scholar Eduard Seler (1849-1922). He describes them in his essay "The Teotihuacan Culture of the Highlands of Mexico" (1915): "it is a very thin-walled, high-fired, fine, light ware of light yellow color, which at any rate was produced in a particular place and spread through trade." Seler suspected that the vessel came from Huauchinango (Puebla) (Seler 1915:501), because that is where the collector Honorato J. Carrasco lived, from whose collection Seler received the object.

He acquired the armadillo on his last trip to Mexico (1910/11), when he took part in the International American Studies Congress in Mexico and taught at the Escuela de Arqueología y Etnología Americana. Setting out from Mexico City, Seler undertook excursions to Teotihuacan and Tepexi, among other places.

Today we know that the clay for the ceramic was dug in the region of Tepexi in the south of Puebla. Aside from the fine figure vessels, there are also simpler household wares of the Fine-Orange type. The research conducted by Carmen Cook de Leonhard and Evelyn Rattray shows that Fine-Orange, as the most popular trade ceramic, can be regarded as an important indicator of Teotihuacan’s influence in Mesoamerica.

 

© Photo: SMB / Claudia Obrocki

Teotihuacán Collection Berlin

A selection of objects from the extensive collection of the Ethnological Museum Berlin.


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