Villa Ahumada Polychrome Vase with Possible Fish Effigy - ROM2019_17362_21


Villa Ahumada Polychrome Vase with Possible Fish Effigy

Maker: Casas Grandes Culture
Geography: Casas Grandes Valley, Mexico
Date: AD 1200 - 1400
Object number: HMC45
Not on view

In the Chihuahuan desert of northern Mexico, the Casas Grandes culture flourished in the regional centre of Paquimé from 1200-1400 AD. Paquimé is the largest known ancient Puebloan town and was a massive trade centre that specialized in exotic goods like macaws, turquoise, and sea shells. Because of the wealth this trade brought, the people of Paquimé were able to build ball courts, large ritual mounds, complex irrigation systems, and elaborate tombs for elites. The settlement was also a major producer of ceramics, which are characterized by complex geometric designs. Fish effigy vessels, like this one, often depict fish that were not locally available. Instead the fish shown are from the ocean more than four hundred kilometers away.

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