Pre-Columbian Jade Ear Plugs

  • These rare jade ear plugs date to the Late Classic Mayan period
  • Jade ear flares such as these would have once been symbols of high status
  • Jade was highly valued both for its scarcity and its remarkable color
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 29-9695

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These exceptionally rare jade ear plugs demonstrate the technical expertise of Late Classic Mayan jadeite carvers. Jade ear flares such as these can be found in numerous representations of Mayan nobility and would have been worn with an ornate headdress and elaborate beaded necklaces. Iconographic evidence reveals that a Mayan of status could have been almost entirely covered in heavy jade ornamentation, portraying the ultimate spectacle and display of status and rulership.

For the Pre-Columbian Maya, jade was the preferred stone for denoting high status and sacredness. Jade's value was based on its relative scarcity, as well as its translucent colors and the challenge of carving the stone due to its hardness. In addition to jade's impressive visual qualities and rarity, it was also symbolically linked to the miracle of the earth's fecundity, including nourishing green plants and blue-green water. Together, these attributes made the stone the most valuable of all materials to adorn the nobility and the gods.

It is difficult to discern the correct geographical origin of these adornments because of the trade routes that existed during this period. It is possible that this pendant was found in the Central American region as there is ample evidence of trade routes between the ancient communities of Central America and the Mayan and Olmec cultures.

200-500 AD

1 1/4" diameter
Pre-Columbian Jade Ear Plugs
Period: Ancient
Type: Antiquities
Diameter: 1.25 Inches
Depth: 1.25 Inches
Width: 1.25 Inches
Height: 0.5 Inches

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