Bottle (Florero)

Date: 1st–5th century

Geography: Mexico, Mesoamerica

Culture: Teotihuacan

Medium: Ceramic

Dimensions: Height 4-3/4 in.

Classification: Ceramics-Containers

Credit Line: Gift of Arthur M. Bullowa, 1979

Accession Number: 1979.205.6


The clean lines of this ceramic vessel are representative of the refined and abstract aesthetic that dominated the art style at Teotihuacan. This vessel type, called florero, is notable for its elegant long neck and widely flared rim. Although the design may have originated elsewhere, the people of Teotihuacan produced floreros from the first century A.D. until the city collapsed around 750 A.D. The smooth, glossy surface of this bottle is the result of a ceramic technique called burnishing. To burnish a ceramic vessel, a hard stone is rubbed along the unfired clay surface in order to align the tiny particles that form the "skin" of the clay body. When these particles line up, the result is the shiny surface apparent here.