Jade Statue

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Frequently Asked Questions...

Looking for information about an Aztec Jade Statue - looks like a representation of the Bat God, known as...?

Piquete Ziña.

I'm trying to track down some information about The "Bat God", known in Zapotec culture as Piquete Ziña.
From my research so far it appears to be of Aztec origin and representative of Piquete Zina.

Details :
Carved Jade
about 5 inches tall ,4 inches in diameter.
Figure has a Bat like Head /body with "bat" wings
Sitting in a "squatting position" with a Large Phallus
A Leopard is standing on the figure's lap and reaching for the neck with the mouth.

So Far,
It's authenticity as "ancient" has been confirmed by a person who works at the Cranbrook Museum in Bloomfield Michigan.
It was suggested that the piece be taken to the field Museum in Chicago for further evaluation.

Any information about this would be greatly appreciated.

I would also like to inquire if there have been "modern" reproductions of this type of statuary - that has been sold to tourists?


Best Answer...


Your question brought to mind the article in the current "Archeology" about the crystal skulls. It's worth a read to learn how modern reproduction can be taken for actual artifacts.(link below)

As for it's "authenticity" I do hope the person has the credentials in the field. Ideally they would have been able to assign a possible date, and cultural period to the statue. I am wondering if the Cranbrook Museum was the contemporary art museum or the natural history museum. Neither would seem likely to have a staff member with the appropriate credentials in archeology.

There is quite a market in selling reproductions. The crystal skulls I referred to earlier are an example. They appear to be the work of one person or the same workshop, appear suddenly in Europe and can be connected to smaller skulls made from old beads.

What is the provenance of the item? Where and when it appear and where is it reported to be from? Note I'm assuming there isn't documentation of it being recovered during a excavation, or of it's entry into the United States.

Best bet is to contact the Field Museum. Many have "artifact days" when people can bring items in. If authenticated, make sure you get it in writing.