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Verdex
30 January, 22:49

Chubby baby: sacrifice or deity of the Olmecs

Chubby baby: sacrifice or deity of the Olmecs
After the Olmec civilization, which reached its peak in the 15th–4th centuries. BC e., many artifacts remain. The most famous are massive heads made of volcanic basalt. Another common type of artifact is masks, which are found not only in Mexico, but also in different parts of Latin America. One of the unusual finds, dating from the 12th–9th centuries. BC e., is a figurine of a child made of white clay. The item is believed to have been discovered at Las Bocas, an archaeological site in the Mexican state of Puebla.

There are a large number of similar figurines, but historians have not yet determined their exact purpose. Researchers believe that fatness symbolizes the abundance of natural resources that belonged to the Olmecs. The images on the back are similar to the scarring or tattoos that the Olmecs applied to their skin. According to one version, the figurine is a portrait of a deity or mythological character. According to another version, this is a kind of monument to a child who left our world too early. Another assumption: the artifact is a replacement for a living child intended for sacrifice (the remains of real babies are found in ceremonial burial places).

Figurines are also found among the ruins of ordinary buildings. Many of them are naked and sitting in a similar position. Archaeologist Jeffrey Blomster divides the finds into two categories: figurines of the first type are distinguished by plumper bodies, like this specimen, figurines of the second type are thinner, the head is larger compared to the body.

Sources:
metmuseum.org

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