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Model Depicting a Ritual Center

A work made of ceramic and pigment.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of ceramic and pigment.


100–800 CE


Ixtlán del Río, Nayarit, Mexico

About this artwork

In West Mexico, chiefdoms and statelike societies flourished between A.D. 100 and 800. Advanced agriculture, extensive trade routes, and elaborate religious festivals echoed developments in other regions of ancient Mesoamerica. The distinctive West Mexican sculptures were often included as offerings in tombs that illustrate important themes of life and the afterlife. This model of a circular ceremonial center depicts houselike temples, populated by flute players, a drummer, conch-shell trumpeters, dancers, women with children, and animals. A masked figure—likely the ruler—stands atop the central stepped pyramid.


On View, Gallery 136


Arts of the Americas




Model Depicting a Ritual Center


Nayarit state (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

100 CE–800 CE


Ceramic and pigment


33 × 47 cm (13 × 18 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Ethel and Julian Goldsmith

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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