Funerary urn with deity 

Monte Alban, Oaxaca, Mexico. Zapotec. 6th century AD

Ceramic urns were often deposited as funerary offerings at the site of Monte Alban in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. The vessels are typically cylindrical and decorated on one side with an applied anthropomorphic figure modeled in clay. The figures often display elaborate headdresses, masks, and distinctive clothing, symbols, or hieroglyphs. Many of the urns have masks with serpent fangs on the lower face and maize vegetation in the headdress that link them to a group of Oaxacan deities. The incised swirling lines around this figure’s eyes might represent tattoos or scarification, both common in ancient Mesoamerica.

The Met