Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Pendant, 4th–7th century
    Costa Rica; Atlantic Watershed
    Jade (jadeite); H. 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm)
    Gift of Carol R. Meyer, 1996 (1996.81)

    Edged with abstract renditions of ten human trophy heads, this jade pendant has a large central hole and two upper perforations through which to thread a cord for suspension. The taking of heads as trophies in ancient Costa Rica is believed to have been a way in which victorious warriors appropriated the knowledge and power of their defeated enemies. Greenstone held a position of importance among the peoples of ancient Costa Rica, and jade objects—perhaps heirlooms—were occasionally recarved to suit new owners or different purposes. This pendant may have been reworked from a piece of jade already possessing a central hole.

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  • Pendant, 4th–7th century
    Costa Rica; Atlantic Watershed
    Jade (jadeite); H. 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm)
    Gift of Carol R. Meyer, 1996 (1996.81)

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