National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) / AP
In a citrus grove near the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, farmers have found a stunning six-foot statue of a figure who would represent an elite woman rather than a goddess, or perhaps be a combination of the two.
The National Institute of Anthropology and History said it was the first such statue to be found in an area known as Huastika.
The institute said the statue of the woman has elaborately sculpted hair and markings indicating her stature, and may date back to about 1450-1521.
Gracias a un conocido pude obtener este video de la fabulosa escultura huasteca del posclásico tardío localizada en Hidalgo Amajac hace algunos días. Las autoridades del INAH ya realizaron la inspeccion de la pieza de casi 2 m de alto. Acaso se trata de una gobernante femenina? pic.twitter.com/BvBtfMEMU5
– Tlatoani_Cuauhtemoc (@ Cuauhtemoc_1521) January 9, 2021
While the site found is closer to an archaeological site before the Spanish El Tagine, the statue shows some influences of the Aztecs.
Farmers digging in the grove found the statue on New Year’s Day, and promptly reported the authorities. The area found was not previously known to be an archaeological site, and the stone statue may have been moved from its original, unknown location.
The statue, carved from limestone, is 60 cm wide and 25 cm thick. Its good state of preservation allows for its features to be observed, such as the open mouth and large eyes that must be filled with obsidian (a type of gem) or any other stone species.
It remains unclear why the statue was photographed with its mouth open and wide with eyes.
An archaeologist at the institute, Maria Eugenia Maldonado Fett, wrote that women “can be rulers, based on their position and dress, more than just a goddess.”
Maldonado added that the statue could be “a fusion between a deity and a woman of high political or social standing in Huastika.” These gods were part of the fertility cult.
Experts noted that the statue’s carving style “is similar to the depiction of the hobbyistic deities of the earth and fertility, but with an external influence.”
The results confirm the importance of women in the Huastika political structure. Archaeologists hope the discovery will provide more analysis and many details of this unique artifact.