Pair of ear rods

700–1100 CE
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General Description

Among the societies of Central America, gold ornaments were important symbols of power and prestige that expressed authority and status in life and in death. This pair of gold and greenstone ear rods would have originally been worn through a hold pierced in the lobe of the ear and features highly polished, delicate finals terminating on both ends. Though their exact meaning is unknown, gold objects such as these were likely worn on ceremonial occasions, and would have created a dazzling golden image.

Adapted from

  • Bonnie Pitman, ed., "Pendant with two frogs (1976.W.292), Pendant bell depicting a turtle (1976.W.301), Pendant depicting a batlike mask (1976.W.237)," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), 35.

  • Carol Robbins, "Pendant depicting a figure with batlike mask (1976.W.237)," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection, ed. Suzanne Kotz (Dallas, TX: Dallas Museum of Art, 1997), 181.

  • "Pectoral Disk (Patena) (1977.187.28)." In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (August 2009).

Fun Facts

  • These ear rods were featured in the World of Ancient Gold exhibit at the New York's World's Fair, Travel and Transportation Pavilion (April 22-October 18, 1964).