Ceramic figurines were produced in enormous numbers during the Teotihuacan period and are among the most common artifacts found in excavations of both domestic and non-domestic contexts. Early Teotihuacan figurines were handmade, but later figurines were mass-produced in specialized workshops using molds. Researchers with a UMMA expedition in the late 1940s collected these mold-made figurines from the site of Santiago Ahuitzotla, in the northwest quadrant of the Valley of Mexico. The figurines in the upper right and lower left depict Tlaloc, the god of rain, identified by the distinctive rings or “goggles” over or above their eyes. Traces of pigment are visible on some of the pieces.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.