Formative (middle) period (900-600 BC)
Mexico : Olmec
Light blue jade
h. 4.2 cm
Jade had become an important material for elite objects in Mesoamerica by the Middle Formative period. It was perhaps the most highly valued material in ancient Mesoamerica, prized for its hardness, colour and translucent qualities. The Olmec used jade to create figurines, celts and ornaments; this exquisitely carved head was probably once part of a complete figure.