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Native American Antiques1192 of 1419Grinding Stone from my grandfathersome of my Grandfather's collection
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Posted 6 years ago


(1 item)

Hello! My mom and I were going through some of her belongings. I found this object wrapped in a handkerchief. She told me that my grandfather found it in the mountains on the northern coast of Honduras while moving his cattle across a rice field he owned back in the day. This was when she was 5 years old (late 50s). Apparently, there were clay sticks covering the holes; my grandpa broke one off when he stepped on it; the rest were lost over the years.

On the other side of this mountain range you will find the Copán ruins. These mountains are accessible by narrow man-made paths; I used to walk up these paths with my friends when I was little, but never managed to make it past 1/2 mile uphill.

My husband says it looks like a pipe. It appears to be made of clay or carved stone. It has the shape of the head of some sort of creature, with a tiny slit on its chin and one small hole on the right side. The bottom has a crater opening. There is another flat opening behind its head that deposits into the center of the object. What do you think this is?

I am intrigued by this item! As I type this in the comfort of my bed, I am holding this mysterious piece that made its way from such a remote place. It would be so great to be able to know more about it.

Thank you!

~Melissa Spahr

Unsolved Mystery

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  1. modena360chick modena360chick, 6 years ago
    I'd like to add an observation I've made: If it were a pipe, and the crater opening on the bottom was the opening to deposit the substance, then the head/face of this artifact would be upside down.
  2. Pencil-necked-geek Pencil-necked-geek, 6 years ago
    Until you said it appeared to be made of clay or stone, I was thinking "that looks like a rusty & weathered finial ornament broken off from an iron bed". Are you sure it's not metal? Does it attract a magnet?
    I see the 'face', but I'm not seeing a pipe configuration. Maybe it's your pictures. Maybe it's just me...
  3. lundy lundy, 6 years ago
    hi modern thats nice ill try to find out happy new year from boston mass
  4. papa papa, 6 years ago
    Pre columbian Mayan civilization and culture, kiln fired pottery piece off a larger item, cup or bowl. Our local rock shop has several on display; also found near Mayan sites during their group travels looking for Honduras opals. Over the years I think they have three of them. Pretty rare. Nice item with the chronology of the location of the historical object.
  5. modena360chick modena360chick, 6 years ago
    Happy New Year! Thank you all for taking the time to respond. Well, it doesn't attract a magnet; the bottom opening has been partially broken off; the edges look like what clay would look like if broken.

    Papa, that is amazing! Even though it's such a small piece, someone created this with their own hands so long ago. I grew up in a tiny town facing the northern coast--called Veracruz--about 10 miles west of Puerto Cortés; if you visit these areas today, you'll find that technology has made its way into the once-remote areas. I believe there are still groups of families living way up into the mountains.
  6. papa papa, 6 years ago
    I grew up and went to school in the bay area of California. Living way up in the mountains sounds much better to me. My old neighborhood in East Oakland is still called "The Killing Zone."
  7. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 11 months ago
    i live in the 'killing zone' in east oakland now! and i lived in the mosquitia of honduras - way up the rio patuca in krausirpe for two years back before there were any roads connecting that part of honduras to the interior. we got around in these long, dugout canoes called pipantes. once, someone showed me this magnificent stone mortar/grinder he had found buried in the sand on a river beach. it had the form of a carved alligator.

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