Spherical bead with four-point stars

CULTURE:
Olmec
DATE:
900–500 BCE
more object details

General Description

The carved stone images Olmec kings wore on their foreheads and chests projected supernatural power. This carved jadeite spherical bead would have originally been part of a necklace, strung by the drilled hole at the center of the bead. Both sides of the bead are incised with a geometric motif that can be interpreted as four point stars. This may relate to the four cardinal directions, the corners of the four-sided world or cosmic maize field, and thus have further cosmological significance. Objects such as these often accompanied the king on his journey through death to the otherworld.

Elaine Higgins Smith, Digital Collections Content Coordinator, 2015.

Drawn from

  • Carol Robbins, Label text [1968.20], A. H. Meadows Galleries, 2010.

  • Carol Robbins, Label text [1968.32], A. H. Meadows Galleries, 2010.

  • Carol Robbins, Label text [1973.75], A. H. Meadows Galleries, 2010.

  • Getty Vocabulary, AAT (pendants (jewelry): AAT: 300046002).