Mace Head

300–500 CE
Overall: 4.2 x 7.3 x 13.6 cm (1 5/8 x 2 7/8 x 5 3/8 in.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

In ancient Costa Rica, it was believed that the world rested on the back of a crocodile.


Once mounted on wooden shafts, elaborately shaped mace (club) heads like this one probably were not used as weapons. Rather, they could have served as emblems of chiefly authority, group insignia, the heads of ceremonial weapons, or all three. They eventually were placed in elite graves. The back-curled nose on this example may refer to a crocodile or caiman.
Mace Head

Mace Head

300–500 CE

Costa Rica

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