Olmec Sculpture Will Return to Mexico

Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) stated that the Manhattan Antiquities Trafficking Unit has recovered a missing Olmec sculpture in New York, which will be returned to Mexico.

The sculpture, known as Monument 9 of Chalcatzingo, was originally from an archaeological site in Mexico’s central highlands, and measures approximately six feet tall, five feet wide, and weighs around one ton.

According to Mario Córdova Tello of the INAH Morelos Center, the sculpture dates back to between 800 and 400 B.C., depicts an earth monster, and is a crucial artifact for researching Olmec iconography.

Its open jaws symbolize access to the underworld, while the shapes at the corners of the mouth represent the branches of the bromeliad plant found in the area around Chalcatzingo and other carvings at the site.

Tello expressed excitement and enthusiasm upon receiving news of the sculpture’s recovery, as reported by Archaeology.

Written by staff