General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 8 May 2021/9 Flower
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Pottery stamp

Aztec pottery stamp

Fired clay Aztec stamp (18.5 cms long), National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City. The design is of a stylized snake - possibly a ‘xiuhcóatl’ or fire serpent. By Aztec times stamps were hugely popular, especially at festival times, for printing designs onto the human face/body (as well as onto items of clothing); in fact some stamps were curved in shape to aid printing onto legs and thighs. If you’re teachiing the Aztecs, do look for the ‘classic’ Dover Publications book ‘Design Motifs of Ancient Mexico’ by Jorge Enciso, which is full of Aztec and other ancient Mexican motifs, many based on designs from pottery stamps now in museums, such as this one.

Photo by Ana Laura Landa/Mexicolore

Learn more about Aztec clay stamps...