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Artist/Maker: Aztec (Central Valley, Mexico)

Date: ca. 1350-1521
Medium: basalt
Overall: 12 1/8 x 5 1/8 x 4 1/2 in. (30.8 x 13 x 11.4 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Gift of The Rubin - Ladd Foundation
Object number: 2008.39.14
DescriptionAztecs artists often chose to portray culturally important plants and animals in a careful and naturalistic style. The detailed carving on this squash depicts the irregularities of the fruit and the final product has been carefully polished, creating an extremely realistic image. Though squash sculptures have no clear provenience, it has been suggested that they were part of offerings, possibly associated with agricultural rituals. The great visual quality of these pieces, usually represented with breathtaking realism, has also led some scholars to suggest that they were meant to be on display in temples dedicated to fertility.
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