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The blue-green, red, black and white palette, plus the remains of distinctive glyphs, identify this ceremonial conch trumpet as having a Teotihuacan origin. Conch trumpets were used all over Mesoamerica and not only in those areas that were close to the coast. Their direct association with water and their deep, potent sound must have been responsible for their adoption as musical instruments across time and space.

Painted conch trumpet
Early to Middle Classic periods (200-650 A.D.)
Teotihuacan, State of Mexico
45 cm.
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico.

Photo © Jorge Pérez de Lara