The sculpture found in Veracruz has a height of 2 meters and could represent a ruling woman. Photo: AP
Farmers digging in a citrus orchard in the Mexican state of Veracruz found a female sculpture nearly 2 meters (6 feet) tall that could represent an elite woman rather than a deity, or a mixture of both, experts said. on Friday.
It is the first statue of its kind found in the Tuxpan river basin, in the south of the Huasteca of Veracruz, according to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).
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The woman in the carved sculpture has an elaborate headdress and other signs of her social status, and could date back to between 1450 and 1521, the INAH claimed. Although the piece was found near the pre-Hispanic ruins of El Tajín, it shows some Aztec influence.
Farmers digging on the farm found the sculpture on New Year’s Day and quickly alerted authorities. The area where it was found was not considered an archaeological site, and the stone statue could have been moved from an unknown location.
It is not known for sure who the statue represents, which has large eyes and an open mouth.
María Eugenia Maldonado Vite, an archaeologist at INAH, wrote that this piece represents a young woman “possibly a ruler due to her posture and attire, rather than a deity.”
The figure could be “a late fusion of the Teem goddesses with the representations of women of high social or political status in the Huasteca,” Maldonado said. These goddesses were part of a fertility cult.
Elsewhere, pre-Hispanic figures have been found representing ruling or high-ranking women in Mexico.
In 1994, at the Mayan ruin site of Palenque, archaeologists found the grave of a woman they named the Red Queen because of the color of the pigment that covered her grave. But it has never been firmly established that the woman, whose tomb dates from between 600 and 700 AD, was a ruler of Palenque.
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