The Tecaxic-Calixtlahuaca Head

The Tecaxic-Calixtlahuaca head is a terracotta head, probably originally part of a larger figurine, discovered in 1933 during the excavation of a burial offering in the Pre-Hispanic settlement of Tecaxic-Calixtlahuaca, located nearly forty miles NW of Mexico City. Besides the head, there are other different objects of gold, copper, turquoise, rock crystal, jet, bone, shell and pottery. Because of the head’s non-Amerind facial features, including a beard, and its unusual style, some believe that it is of Roman origin, and thus evidence of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact.

The site where the head was found seems to be a genuine pre-colonial site undisturbed during the colonial period. Bernard Andreae of the German Institute of Archaeology in Rome, Italy, confirmed the style as Roman and proposed the 2nd century A.D as datation, based on the hairstyle and the beard. Although the burial itself was dated between 1476-1510 A.D. Ernst Boehringer, an eminent classical archaeologist, has argued that the head is a Roman work from the II-III century A.D.
 
Tecaxic Head

In 1995 FS Archae├Âmetrie in the University of Heidelberg, Germany performed a thermoluminescence (TL) age test of the piece which established its age limits between IX century B.C. and the middle XIII century A.D. This result clears up the doubts of Colonial manufacture of the artifact, and makes the hypothesis of Roman origin – among other possibilities- applicable. The identification of the head as Roman work from the II-III century A.D. has been further confirmed by Bernard Andreae, a director emeritus of the German Institute of Archaeology in Rome, Italy.

According to Andreae "[the head] is without any doubt Roman, and the lab analysis has confirmed that it is ancient. The stylistic examination tells us more precisely that it is a Roman work from around the II century A.D., and the hairstyle and the shape of the beard present the typical traits of the Severian emperors period [193-235 A.D.], exactly in the ‘fashion’ of the epoch." (Andreae cited in Domenici 2000: 29).

Sources:
http://listverse.com/2007/10/01/top-10-out-of-place-artefacts/
 
The Tecaxic-Calixtlahuaca Head The Tecaxic-Calixtlahuaca Head Reviewed by Tripzibit on 05:43 Rating: 5

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