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Even though many scholars maintain that this is a bat mask, many of its features point towards its identification as a feline, possibly a jaguar. If this is correct, it may be associated with power and royal lineages. Regardless of its identification, it is one of the most valuable treasures ever recovered from Monte Albán.

Jade mask
Late Pre-Classic (200 B.C. - 100 A.D.)
Monte Albán, State of Oaxaca
Jade with shell inlays
28 x 17.2 cm.
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico.

Photo © Jorge Pérez de Lara