Olmec


Jade pectoral (with Maya glyphs), c. 1000-600 B.C.E., Olmec, Middle Preclassic period, jadeite, 10.5 x 11 cm, Mexico © Trustees of the British Museum
Jade was a prized material for the Olmec, and their carving has been found throughout Mesoamerica and beyond.

Olmec Jade


Olmec stone mask, c. 900-400 B.C.E. Olmec, greenstone, 13 x 11.3 x 5.7 cm © Trustees of the British Museum
Dress for the job you want, not the one you have: could this mask pendant turn its wearer into a god?

Olmec stone mask


Olmec figurine
Olmec figurines are known for their baby faces, as well as a mixture of feline and human traits.

Olmec figurine


Offering #4, La Venta
These seventeen baby-faced figures may have represented a priestly ritual, a sacrifice, or a procession.

Offering #4, La Venta




Olmec
This was buried in an offering at an Aztec temple, some 1500 years later and far from where it was made.

Olmec mask


Votive Adze "Kunz Axe" (detail)
In spite its name, this jade figure was a ritual object and never used as an axe.

Kunz Axe (Olmec)