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Chocolate Pot: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Cacao or chocolate was a sign of wealth and power among the ancient Maya. Cacao seeds were used as currency, and ground cacao mixed with water and chiles was a stimulant consumed at celebrations. Archaeological evidence shows cacao beverages were consumed at least as early as 1000 B.C. This example from nearly 2 millennia later is one of only three known of a type of squat jar with screw-on, locking lids. The lid that once fit this vessel has not been preserved. It has four glyphs in the ancient Maya language around the outside, three describe the place of origin, owner, and shape of the vessel; the fourth - illustrated above - is the glyph for "cacao," confirming its ancient function as a chocolate pot.
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Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: July 28, 2011