Error: 3002 Source: GeoIP.asp line 56: File could not be opened. After Much Controversy, Authenticity of Teotihuacan's "The Malinaltepec Mask" Verified
The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 Thursday, December 18, 2014


After Much Controversy, Authenticity of Teotihuacan's "The Malinaltepec Mask" Verified
According to the specialist in charge of the INAH Funerary Masks Project, the team in charge of analyzing the archaeological object was amazed by the piece, its manufacture technique and the material that decorates it. Photo: Jose Luis Ruvalcaba/INAH.
MEXICO CITY.- After a decade of controversy regarding the authenticity of the Malinaltepec Mask, an investigation conducted by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) has verified it is original.

“The Malinaltepec Mask”, a new publication coordinated by Sofia Martinez del Campo, a specialist in funerary masks, integrates 7 studies performed recently by 20 researchers on the Prehispanic piece, confirming it is authentic.

The book deals with substantial and assorted analyses that the piece, made out of 762 tesserae with an approximate age of 1,800 years, underwent. Among the studies are morphometric characterization, mineralogy, petrography, lapidary characteristics, technological analysis and adhesives used to paste decorations.

“Since its discovery in 1921, the mask caused controversy among archaeologists: specialist Porfirio Aguirre thought he had just found one of the great treasures of Mesoamerica, while authorities thought it had been recently created.

“In early 2008 archaeologist Felipe Solis, then director of the National Museum of Anthropology (MNA), promoted the investigation of the Teotihuacan mask with the aim of clearing up any doubts”, commented Diana Magaloni, director of MNA, at the presentation of the book.

Since the piece was made in 2 different Prehispanic periods, the doubt regarding its authenticity was strong, so studies and analyses were conducted in 1921 to determine if it was original. Nevertheless, controversy did not end, explained restorer Martinez del Campo.

According to the specialist in charge of the INAH Funerary Masks Project, the team in charge of analyzing the archaeological object was amazed by the piece, its manufacture technique and the material that decorates it.

In 1921 it was determined that the mask was created with serpentine, but the results from the new mineralogical studies concluded that it is made of chloritite, a green-yellowish rock.

In the early 20th century, expert reports determined that most of the blue tesserae were confectioned with amazonite, some manufactured with turquoise, which was verified by the 2008 and 2009 lithic analyses. There are also shell and hematite elements.

“It was confirmed that copal resin was used to glue up tesserae; there was a rumor that modern glue had been used as an adhesive, but the presence of copal allowed us confirming the mask was created in Prehispanic times”, declared Martinez del Campo.

“The work is the product of an interdisciplinary investigation, gathering around the object more than 20 specialists in chemistry, mineralogy, petrography, biology, archaeology and anthropology.

“This is a mask of great quality, with different material inlay, a Teotihuacan object to which decoration was added up later, integrating the unity through time”, commented Eduardo Matos Moctezuma.

A piece that unites two periods in time
Malinaltepec Mask is a Teotihuacan-style funerary object used in 2 different moments: it was created during the Classic period (200-900 AD) and used again in a funeral during the Post Classic period (900-1521 AD). It is 21 centimeters both long and wide, and 762 tesserae are adhered to it. It is one of the emblematic pieces at the Teotihuacan Hall of the National Museum of Anthropology.

Restorer Sofia Martinez del Campo mentioned that when it was created, the mask was not covered with mosaic. Nearly 700 years after, amazonite tesserae were inlayed, a mineral that was associated by Teotihuacan culture to Chalchiuhtlicue, goddess of fertility and water.

“This is its meaning, according to the nose ornament made out of shell, the blue color of amazonite and turquoise, as well as the element in the front that might symbolize fertility and represent Malinaltepec.

“Mesoamerican people treasured pieces of past cultures, recovering Olmeca and Teotihuacan masks from funerary contexts and re appropriating them later to give them different uses”, detailed the restorer.

“Its function during the Classic period is unknown, it might have been part of a sculpture or attached to an architectural structure; during the Post Classic, it was used to bury it with an important character.

“It was then when they covered it with shell, turquoise and amazonite fragments, to give it the face of Chalchiuhtlicue; according to ancient beliefs, it would allow the departed to present in the underworld and ascend to the celestial level with the face of a divinity. We do not know if it was used by a man or a woman”, concluded Martinez del Campo.

National Institute of Anthropology and History | Malinaltepec Mask | Mexico | Sofia Martinez del Campo |




Last Week News

November 23, 2010

Hungary to Sell Communist Relics to Benefit the Victims of Last Month's Red Sludge Flood

Sotheby's Sale Establishes a World Auction Record for Painter Giuseppe Vermiglio

A 1,800 Year Old Bathing Pool was Discovered Beneath a Miqve by Israeli Archaeologists

Tradition and Innovation at the Netherlands' Art and Antiques Fair: PAN Amsterdam

The Home of Leading Scientist Who Helped Develop the 'Bouncing Bomb' to Be Sold

Science Museum in London to Debut New Permanent Climate Science Gallery

Legendary Rock Legends Pink Floyd Quadraphonic Consoles to Be Sold at Bonhams

Lisson Gallery Presents an Exhibition of New Works by Berlin-Based Artist Ceal Floyer

Connecting Cubism to an American Narrative Exhibition on View at D. Wigmore Fine Art, Inc.

Luciana Brito Presents "Back to Simplicity", Including Historic Artworks, by Marina Abramovic

Collectors Respond with Highest-Ever Total for a Photography Sale at Sotheby's Paris

Ten Visionary Artists Express Themselves Around the Iconic Hennessy V.S Bottle

Master Chinese Painter Wu Guanzhong's Works Exhibited at Zhejiang Art Museum

R. Crumb, Daughter Look at Life in "Crazy Artist"

Federico Luger Presents Franklin Evans' Second Solo Exhibition at the Gallery

Reina Sofía Museum Signs Partnership Agreement with the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO)

Rolls-Royce Phantom III, Featured in Pan's Labyrinth Film, to Sell at Bonhams

Exhibition of New Work by Rachel Kneebone Presented at White Cube Hoxton Square

Bonhams to Hold its Biggest Sale of Remarkable Wine to Date

Extraordinary Opportunities for Collectors of the World's Finest Wines Presented by Christie's Hong Kong

Bonhams Appoint Deborah Allan Departmental Director of Impressionist & Modern Art

Donation of Two Works by Leading Irish Sculptor James McKenna to the Irish Museum of Modern Art

November 22, 2010

Detroit Institute of Arts Opens Exhibition that Examines Fakes, Forgeries and Mysteries

Art Gallery of Ontario Opens the Gates to India's Royal Courts in New Exhibition

Treasures of Ancient Chinese Art Return to Public View at the Freer Gallery of Art

Exhibition at Museum of Modern Art in New York Challenges Definition of Drawing

Seoul Auction to Hold Sale and a Special Exhibition of Impressionists & Modern Masters

Mix of Unseen Images and Work Selected from Previous Series by Artists at Stills Gallery

Danish-Vietnamese Artist Danh Vo Conquers x-rummet at the National Gallery of Denmark

Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney Presents Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life 1990-2005

The Work of Alex Katz Travels to North Wales as Part of 2010 Artist Rooms Tour

Beautiful Evidence: Christie's in New York to Offer the Library of Edward Tufte

Important Items from the Hanoverian Royal Family to Be Sold in Arms and Militaria Auction

Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami Presents Bruce Weber: Haiti/Little Haiti

Poppy Sebire Launches the Gallery's New Permanent Home in Southwark with New Exhibition

Laumeier Unveils New Blind Maquettes with Support From Lighthouse for the Blind - Saint Louis

Medal from Charge of the Light Brigade Offered at Bonhams

Guillotines, Scalpels and Ant Farms Provide Unique Opportunity To Reveal Unexpected Views into Architecture

Getty Conservation Institute Awarded National Science Foundation Grant to Study Ancient Greek Pottery

Notable D.C. Chefs Create Art-Inspired Birthday Cakes for the Phillips Collection's 89th Anniversary

Critically Acclaimed Gallery Renovations Continue with Two Major Fall Projects

November 21, 2010

Exhibition at Bauhaus Dessau Marks the 100th Birthday of Bauhaus Student Kurt Kranz

SFMOMA Announces Exhibition on the Art and Influence of Gertrude Stein and Her Family

Peru President Alan Garcia Says Yale University to Return Thousands of Inca Artifacts

Rare 1939 Batman Comic Sells for Nearly $500k at Heritage Auctions in Dallas

Rare 15th Century Manuscript Returned to National Trust's Lyme Park

Bonhams Cements Its Position as Market Leader for Japanese Art in Europe

ICA Boston Presents One of the Leading Figures in Contemporary Art: Mark Bradford

Implications with Sale of the Crosby Garrett Helmet Called for an Urgent Review of The Treasure Act

Diminutive Yet Powerfully Resonant Objects by Charles LeDray at the Whitney Museum

Bank Art Conservation Programme Provides Funds to Restore Iconic Maclise Masterpiece

Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster, 1964-66 on View at the Menil Collection in Houston

Study Photographs and Paintings by Norman Rockwell at the Brooklyn Museum

Contemporary Canadian Artist Daniel Barrow Wins $50,000 2010 Sobey Art Award

A Hannukkah Project: Daniel Libeskind's Line of Fire Opens at the Jewish Museum

Institute of American Indian Arts Archives Announce the Acquisition of the Lloyd H. New Papers

Important Italian Design Collection of Max Palevsky to Be Sold by Los Angeles Modern Auctions

Thirteen New Paintings by Scottish Artist Christopher Orr on Display at Hauser & Wirth Zürich

Woman Pleads Guilty in Destruction of Artwork

November 20, 2010

Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg Presents an Overview of Alberto Giacometti's Mature Work

Denver Museum Prepares for Next Steps in Scientific Analysis of the Ice Age Fossil Site

Stonehenge Gets Multimillion-Pound Grant for Major Makeover to Help Restore Dignity

Scientists Attempt to Solve the Mystery of Danish Astronomer Tycho Brahe's Sudden Death

World's Most Famous Diamond Unveiled at National Museum of Natural History

Colombian Fernando Botero's Matadors, Chile's Matta Top Latin American Auction at Christie's

Important American Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture to Be Auctioned at Sotheby's New York

United States Government Returns Art Work Stolen Over Three Decades Ago to Owner

Rijksmuseum Anounces Two Acquisitions that Highlight the Birth of Christ

Two Ancient Statues Stolen in the 1980s From Italian Museums are Now Home

An Old Bearded Man by Gerard Dou; A Highlight in the Old Master Paintings Sale at Sotheby's

Ford's Model A: Michigan Museum Plans to Break Ground on New Museum Next Year

Getty Announces Exhibition that Recreates a Day in the Life of an 18th Century Parisian Townhouse

Major Retrospective of Paintings by Alexis Rockman Opens at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Staff Promotions Announced by Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art

Major Sculptures and Projections by Seven Internationally Significant Artists at The Fruitmarket Gallery

New Chair and Five New Members of the Board of Directors Announced by the Terra Foundation for American Art

Meet the New Curators for 2012 Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial

November 19, 2010

Richard Avedon's Most Prized Photographs for Sale Saturday at Christie's in Paris

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Announces Acquisition of 3,000 Works by Paul Strand

MoMA Announces Exhibition of Picasso's Iconic Guitar Sculptures From 1912-1914

Prehispanic Decapitated Ballgame Player Sculpture Discovered by Archaeologists in Mexico

Phillips de Pury Announces Two Senior Appointments in Photographs Department

Exhibition Reveals Artist's Passionate Commitment to His Carefully Defined Practice

Sculptural and Textile Works by Wolfgang Joop at Galerie Michael Schultz

Internationally Acclaimed Abstract Artist, Nathan Oliveira, Dies in Stanford at Age 81

Robert De Niro Sr. Prize Created to Honor American Artists for Achievements in Painting

Dinosaur Egg Found by the Real Indiana Jones Hoes on Display at World Museum in Liverpool

Frank Gehry-Designed Mississippi Museum Highlights Sculptor George E. Ohr

Rare Works by Irving Penn and Robert Frank Featured in Swann Galleries' Auction

Retrospective of the Works of One of the Most Important Photographers of Our Time

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts Presents salt 2: Sophie Whettnall

The Royal Academy of Arts Announces Cindy Sherman as Honorary Member of the Royal Academy

Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad Named Next Director of the Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture

The Unilever Series: turbinegeneration is Awarded UNESCO Patronage

November 18, 2010

A Selection of Shanghai's Diverse Contemporary Art on View at Kunstmuseum Bern

"Charles Marville" Exhibition and New Discoveries Announced by National Gallery of Art

Archive of Photographer Richard Nickel Goes to the Art Institute of Chicago

Metropolitan Presents Exhibition on Haremhab, Ancient Egyptian General Who Became Pharaoh

Guggenheim Museum Announces Nominees for Rob Pruitt's 2010 Art Awards

Exhibition at the Getty Research Institute Refracts Ancient Mexican Art and Archaeology

Jimi Hendrix's Epiphone FT79 Guitar for Sale at Bonhams' Memorabilia Auction

Cain Schulte Explores the Diverse and Innovative Creations of International Artists

Old Master Brueghel Campaign Approaches 900,000 as Painting Returns to Yorkshire

MoMA Debuts Free iPad App in Conjunction with the Exhibition Abstract Expressionist New York

Previously Unseen Work by Dante Gabriel Rossetti to Be Shown in Birmingham

Exhibition Examines Noguchi's Ties to Key Figures in Art, Theater, Design, and Architecture

American International Fine Art Fair 2011: Highlights Announced for February Edition

Estate of Television and Business Pioneer Maria Helen Smith Brings More than $3-Million at Bonhams & Butterfields

California Warehouse Fire Began in Neil Young's Car

Sotheby's Latin American Art Evening Sale Totals $ 14,814,500; Sets 8 New Records

Botanical Sculptures by Paula Hayes Installed in Museum of Modern Art's Lobby

Mexicans Celebrate Food as Intangible Heritage

National Gallery Receives Major Donation for New Education Centre

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- 'Stuart Little' helps lost Hungarian painting come home after nine decades

2.- 23,000 year-old limestone statuette of a woman found by archaeologists in France

3.- 42-year-old Russian tourist fined 20,000 euros for defacing Rome's Colosseum

4.- Archaeologists find ancient coins in enormous tomb at Amphipolis in northern Greece

5.- World's richest resource of Japanese stencils for dyeing samurai kimonos rediscovered

6.- Khan Academy to carry extensive content created by Met Museum based on its world-renowned collection

7.- The Weston Cast Court: Victoria & Albert Museum opens refurbished Italian Cast Court

8.- Six final concept designs for Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition unveiled

9.- France returns 250 illegally imported antiquities seized by customs officials to Egypt

10.- Exhibition at the Prado Museum explores Goya's extraordinary series of tapestry cartoons

Related Stories



Archaeologists find Maya ceramics and mural paintings in three underwater caves in Mexico

Pedro Ramirez Vazquez

Mexican archaeologists find Aztec temple platform at Mexico City's Templo Mayor ruin

Mexican Funerary Masks Travel to France for Exhibition at the Pinacothèque de Paris

Two Pyramids at Santo Nombre Archaeological Site were Restored by INAH

Mexican Archaeologists Say Tonina Ballgame Court may Be the One Described in Popol Vuh

Mexican Archaeologists Report Finding Prehispanic Objects at Nevado de Toluca

Archaeologists Discover Two More Human Skeletons Accompanied by a Rich Offering

Archaeologists Discover Two More Human Skeletons Accompanied by a Rich Offering at Chiapa de Corzo

Drawings and Sketches that Reflect Mexico's Independence Period Published



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site