Kunz Axe

Between 1200 and 400 BC, artifacts of stunning complexity were created by people in many parts of Mesoamerica. This jade sculpture, called the Kunz Axe, is carved in Olmec style, although it was reportedly found in the southern highland Valley of Oaxaca.

Said to be part-human, part-beast and named after a former owner, the Kunz Axe features a jaguar-shaped mouth and almond-shaped eyes. The figure may represent a chief or shaman who has transformed himself into a powerful jaguar to draw on its power.