Relief Portrait Pendants

by Maya


Relief Portrait Pendants at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Credit: Courtesy Penn Museum

CE 600-900
Mexico and Central America Gallery
(215) 898-4001


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Jadeite was highly prized by the Maya and was fashioned into pendants, necklaces, earrings, and plaques. Found in Mexico, these pendants may be true portraits of Maya lords. They are depicted wearing earplugs, necklaces, and elaborate headdresses. The jadeite pendants are among more than 200 ancient artifacts, some dating back 3,500 years, in the Penn Museum’s Mexico and Central America Gallery. Penn Museum archaeologists have worked at ancient Maya sites in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, and the Museum opens a special timed-ticketed world premiere exhibition featuring material from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Copan in Honduras: MAYA 2012: Lords of Time, May 5, 2012 through January 13, 2013.