U.S. Response:
Back to HOME | Overview | Implementation




Federal Register Notice: March 10, 1995; 60(47):13352-13361

Pre-Hispanic Artifacts From El Salvador



DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY 
Customs Service 
19 CFR Part 12 
[T.D. 95-20] 
RIN 1515-AB70 

Pre-Hispanic Artifacts From El Salvador 

AGENCY: U.S. Customs Service, Department of the Treasury. 
ACTION: Final rule. 



Previous Section

2. Other Small Ceramic Artifacts 

2a. Spindle Whorls or Malacates 

    Small ceramic disc-shaped artifacts with a central perforation. As viewed in section, these are thicker toward the center. They may have incised or mold-made decoration. These are often mistaken for ceramic beads and many may be strung together for transport or display. 
      Dating: Late Classic to Protohistoric Periods. Different varieties are documented in relation to Late Classic Phases and ceramic complexes (Lepa, Payu, Tamasha) through the Postclassic (Guazapa, Cuscatlan, and others). 
      Appearance: Carefully formed and smoothed. Many were slipped, and run the full range of black through brown through red. Fugitive white paint has been noted as a rare filler for incised designs. 
      Size: 0.8-1.2" (2.1-3.2cm) in diameter. Holes are always close to 0.25" (0.6cm) in diameter. 
      Formal Names: Referred to as spindle whorls or malacates (see for example Longyear 1944; Sharer 1978; Andrews 1976). 
2b. Ceramic Seals 
    Ceramic seals present a high-relief pattern on clay surface and are thought to have been used with paint to stamp designs for body and/or textile decoration. Some were used to impress designs on still-wet pottery objects. Some seals have been found still covered with red pigment. 
      Seals may be flat, with a spike handle on the rear, or cylindrical and used by rolling. Cylinder seals usually have a central perforation that would have allowed a stick to be passed through and facilitate their use like rolling pins. 
      Dating: To date, seals have been found in El Salvador in contexts ranging from the Late Preclassic and Late Classic Periods (in relation to the Chul, Caynac and Payu Ceramic Complexes and the Tamasha Phase). 
      Appearance: Well-smoothed and sometimes slipped surfaces. Color ranges from black-brown through reddish-brown and red. 
      Size: Flat seals=1.2-5" (3-13cm) in diameter; cylinder seals may be 2.4-5" (6-12cm) in length. 
      Formal Names: Usually referred to as seals or stamps, flat or cylindrical (see Sharer 1978; Demarest 1986; Amaroli 1987). 
2c. Miniatures 
    Very small ceramic objects made in the form of jars or flasks. Often made of a very fine cream colored ceramic. These may be modeled to resemble squash effigies, or may include stamped designs include Maya glyphs, humans forms, or animals. Miniature vessels often contain residuals of red pigment. Late Classic Period. 
      Size: 1.5-4" (4-10cm) in height. 
      Formal Names: None. 
2d. Spools 
    This category includes several varieties of spool-shaped artifacts that functioned as earspools and as labrets. Often a short tab extends from one side, while the other may have modeled (and sometimes mold made) decoration. Alternatively, the spool sides may have incised decoration. Early Preclassic through Postclassic Periods (Sharer 1978; Amaroli 1987). 
      Size: Normally do not exceed 1.3" (3.4cm) in their maximum dimension. 
3. Ceramic Vessels 

3a. Polychrome Vessels 

    Copador Polychrome Vessels: Hemispherical bowls, bowls with composite walls, cylindrical vases, and jars with painted designs in red, black and optionally yellowish orange on a cream to light orange base. The red paint used is almost always specular (small flecks of crystals flash as the vessel is moved in strong light). Copador paste is cream colored (or sometimes very light brown) and is not very hard or dense. Designs (usually on the exterior) may include bands of motifs derived from Maya glyphs, seated individuals, individuals in a swimming position, melon-like stripes, birds or other animals, and others. Rare examples have excavated lines or patterns. Copador Polychrome may usually be distinguished on the basis of its specular red paint and cream colored paste. 
      Dating: Late Classic Period (defined as a member of the Payu Ceramic Complex, also found commonly in Tamasha Phase deposits (Cara Sucia)). 
      Size: Bowl diameter may vary from 4-12" (10-30 cm), the height of cylindrical vases may range from 6-12.5" (15-32 cm), and jar height ranges from approximately 5-11" (12-28 cm). 
      Formal Names: Referred to as the Copador Ceramic Group (Sharer 1978). 
    Gualpopa Polychrome: This type is closely related to Copador Polychrome, with which it shares a cream colored paste and the hemispherical bowl form (rarer forms in Gualpopa are: flat bottomed bowls with vertical walls, and composite walled bowls). Designs in Gualpopa are painted in red (which unlike Copador is not specular) and black on a cream-orange base. Gualpopa motifs are simpler than Copador. Most common are geometric designs (spirals, "melon" bands, chevrons, and others), but repeating birds, monkeys, or designs derived from Maya glyphs may be found. 
      Dating: Late Classic, especially the first part of this period. Defined as a member of the Payu Ceramic Complex. 
      Size: Diameters range from 6-15" (16-38 cm). 
      Formal Names: Termed as the Gualpopa Ceramic Group (Sharer 1978). 
    Arambala Polychrome: Formerly referred to as "false Copador" due to its close resemblance to Copador Polychrome. Arambala may be differentiated from Copador by its reddish paste (contrasting with Copador's cream paste) and the use of a dull red paint (rather than Copador's specular red paint). Apart from these two differences, however, Arambala closely duplicates Copador's repertoire of vessel forms, dimensions, and decoration (please refer to the description for Copador Polychrome for this information). A cream-orange slip was added over Arambala's reddish paste to approximate Copador's base color, but this slip often has a streaky appearance. 
      Dating: Late Classic Period. A member of the Payu Ceramic Complex and present in the Tamasha Phase of Cara Sucia. 
      Size: (See the description for Copador Polychrome) 
      Formal Names: Defined as the Arambala Ceramic Group (Sharer 1978). 
    Campana Polychrome Vessels: Flat bottomed bowls with flaring walls, usually large. Provided with 4 hollow supports that may take the form of pinched cylinders or cylinders with human or animal effigies. Intricate painted designs were executed in black-brown, dull red, and orange, on a cream to cream-orange base. A large portrayal of a human or animal is featured on the interior center of these vessels, and the rims often have a distinctive encircling twisted rope and dot design. Some examples have a few curving lines of broad (up to 0.5" or 1.3 cm) Usulutan negative decoration. Campana Polychrome paste is dense, hard, and brick red. Other forms include small bowls without supports, with flat bottoms and flaring walls, and cylindrical vases with bulging and sometimes faceted midsections and occasionally short ring bases. The cylindrical vases usually feature panels on opposing side of the vessel with human or animal designs, and may have very short and wide tabular supports. 
      Dating: Late Classic Period. Present in association with the Payu Ceramic Complex (Sharer 1978), the Lepa Phase (Andrews 1976), and the Tamasha Phase (Amaroli 1987). 
      Size: The large bowls with supports range from 10-20" (25-50 cm) in diameter. The small bowls without supports are usually 6-9" (16-22 cm) in diameter. Cylindrical vases range in height from 7-10" (18-25 cm). 
      Formal Names: Termed as the Campana Polychrome Ceramic Group (Sharer 1978). 
    Salua Polychrome: Mostly cylindrical vases, usually with very short and wide tabular supports. The larger examples may have two opposing modeled head handles just below the rim representing monkeys or other animals. Bold designs are painted on a cream to orange base, using different combinations of black, dull red, dark orange, and yellow. The normally invisible paste is brick red. Black was often used to create ample panels (or even to cover almost the entire vessel) as a backdrop for featured designs. The principal designs are strikingly displayed and can include: mat patterns (petates), twisted cord patterns, animals (jaguars, parrots, owls, and others), humans, sea shells, ballcourts (represented by a two or four colored "I"-shaped drawing) and other motifs. Humans are often arrayed in finely detailed costumes and may be represented playing musical instruments, sowing with a digging stick, armed for battle, seated within a structure, or in other attitudes. A decorative option was to excise or stamp designs in panels or registers. 

    The remainder of the vessel (or, if a featured motif is lacking, all of the vessel) is decorated with panels and registers with circumferencial bands near the rim and geometric patterns elsewhere. Other vessel forms known for Salua are short cylinders ranging grading into bowls, convex walled bowls (i.e., with bulging sides), composite walled bowls, and jars. Strangely enough, despite their exceptional decoration, colored stucco was sometimes used to cover areas of Salua vessels (when eroded this stucco leaves chalky traces). Salua vessels have rarely been found filled with red pigment. 

      Dating: Late Classic (associated with the Payu Ceramic Complex and the Lepa Phase). 
      Size: The cylindrical vessels grade into vertical walled bowls over a range of heights from 3.5-12.5" (9-32 cm). Bowl diameters range from 6-12" (15-30 cm). 
      Formal Names: The name Salua is a local term employed in the National Museum of El Salvador. It has been long recognized that probably several different ceramic groups are lumped under this term, and that at least some of these groups probably correspond with the so-called Ulua or Sula Valley Polychromes of neighboring Honduras (which in recent years have been divided among several ceramic groups). Sharer (1978) cites Salua as a special group of the Payu complex, termed Special: Polychrome B, and he also mentions the name Salua Polychrome. At Quelepa it was noted as an unnamed ceramic group referred to as Dark Orange and Black on Orange (Andrews 1976). Several examples are illustrated in Longyear 1944 and 1966. It is interesting to note the relative abundance of Salua Polychrome in national and private collections in El Salvador in comparison with Honduran collections. 
    Quelepa Polychrome: Hemispherical and composite wall bowls, and jars; bowls may have basal flanges or slight angle changes near the rim. Bowls may have small solid or larger hollow supports. Quelepa Polychrome has a hard and very white base (slip) over a fine red paste. On this white base were painted designs in orange (often applied as a wash over most of the vessel), red and black; very rarely a purple paint may be present. Designs include "checkerboards", sunbursts, circles, bands, wavy lines, and others. Animals may be depicted on the interior or exterior (jaguars, birds, and monkeys have been noted). 
      Dating: Late Classic (a member of the Lepa Ceramic Complex). 
      Size: Bowls may measure from 4.5-15" (11-38 qcm) in diameter. 
      Formal Names: Termed as the Quelepa Polychrome Ceramic Group in Andrews 1976. 
    Los Llanitos Polychrome: Flaring walled bowls, most or all with solid tabular supports (supports may have effigy decoration). A cream colored slip was applied a red paste. Orange paint was applied to the entire interior of the bowl and in small areas bordered by black on the exterior. In addition to orange and black, colors may include dull red, sepia, and rarely purple. Two designs diagnostic of Los Llanitos Polychrome are a "five-fingered flame" and stacks of three or four horizontal bars of decreasing length. 
      Dating: Late Classic (a member of the Lepa Ceramic Complex). 
      Size: 7-12.5" (18-32 cm) in diameter. 
      Formal Names: Termed Los Llanitos Polychrome by Longyear (1944) and as the Los Llanitos Polychrome Ceramic Group by Andrews (1976). 
    "Chinautla" Polychrome: Flaring walled bowls with flat bases and 3 or 4 hollow conical supports with simple applique. Red and black-brown designs were painted over a cream slip in registers, including spirals, stepped frets, bars, and dots. 
      Dating: Late Postclassic (a member of the Ahal Ceramic Complex). 
      Size: 6.5-10" (17-26 cm) in diameter. 
      Formal Names: First defined in Chalchuapa as the Chinautla Ceramic Group in Sharer (1978) due to its similarities with the "Chinautla Polychrome tradition" found mostly in the Guatemalan highlands. Most would probably now agree that this tradition may be subdivided into several distinct and locally distributed ceramic groups, of which the Chalchuapa variety would be one. 
    Machacal Purple Polychrome: Bowls (hemispherical, composite walled, or vertical walled with convex bases). With the exception of vertical walled bowls, these may be supported by ring bases, pedestal bases or 4 hollow cylindrical supports. Possesses an orange base slip with red and dark purple designs. Purple designs in the form of an horizontal "S" on the vessel exterior are common. Vessel bottoms usually have a simple purple design that some people have considered to vaguely resemble a bird. The generous use of purple paint on an orange base slip is a distinctive characteristic of this variety. 
      Dating: End of the Early Classic and beginning of the Late Classic. 
      Size: 5-11.5" (13-29 cm) in diameter. 
      Formal Names: Termed Red and Purple on Orange by Boggs (in Longyear 1944), and Machacal Purple-polychrome by Sharer (1978). 
    Nicoya Polychrome: Hemispherical bowls, bowls with rounded to almost flat bases and flaring walls (these may have three hollow cylindrical or conical supports with effigy decoration as an option, often in the form of bird heads), cylindrical vases with ring bases, jars. Red, black, and yellow paint was applied over a very smooth white slip with a "soapy" texture. Usually over half of the vessel was left white. Designs include registers with geometric designs, human figures, and others. Rare vessels may have unusual forms and appendages. 
      Dating: Early Postclassic. 
      Size: Bowls range from 6-11" (15-28 cm) in diameter; cylindrical vases range from 6.5-12" (17-30 cm) in height. 
      Formal Names: Long called Nicoya Polychrome due to its relationship with the different varieties grouped under that name first defined for Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The variety found in El Salvador differs sufficiently from those varieties in forms and decoration to be considered as an additional type. 
    Chancala Polychrome: Hemispherical bowls, often slightly flaring from just under the rim. A cream base slip (often streaky in appearance) was painted with designs in brown-black and red. Animals rendered in a distinctive silhouette style were painted on opposing sides of the exterior (monkeys, lizards, and birds seem to be represented), with large solid circles, squares or cross-hatch designs between the two. The upper portion of the exterior body is divided by bands in a register holding step frets, circles, and/or other designs. 
      Dating: Late Classic. 
      Size: 6-8" (15-20 cm) in diameter. 
      Formal Names: Termed Chancala Polychrome by Boggs (1972). 
    Salinitas Polychrome: Known in bowl forms with a streaky cream to orange base slip. Black circumferencial bands define registers that usually enclose alternating spirals and stylized animals outlined in black with orange infilling. 
      Dating: Late Classic Period. 
      Formal Names: Termed Salinitas Polychrome by Boggs. 
3b. Vessels With Usulutan Decoration 

Here are included several different varieties of ceramics that prominently feature Usulutan decoration as their distinctive trait. Usulutan decoration is a negative technique, resulting in light-colored lines against a darker background. The light lines were achieved by applying a resist substance and then covering the vessel with a slip that fired a darker color. Since this failed to adhere to the areas with resist, these maintained their lighter shade (a simplified explanation). In its most elaborate version, the resist substance was applied with a multiple brush with as many as seven small brushes fastened in a row, allowing the creation of swirling parallel lines. The base color on these vessels ranges from salmon pink to dark yellow, with the lines being a lighter shade of the same. Some varieties have red paint added as rim bands or (in the case of the Chilanga Ceramic Group) simple designs. Formal names for the ceramic groups considered here are: Jicalapa, Puxtla, Izalco, and Chilanga (Sharer 1978, Demarest 1986, Andrews 1976). 

3c. Plumbate Vessels 

    Unpainted vessels with a glazed appearance. Surface color ranges from dark brown-black to lead-colored to salmon-orange, and sometimes all are found on a single vessel. Some areas may be iridescent. This is an extremely hard ceramic and "rings" when tapped. Vessel forms include a variety of forms of jars, bowls, cylindrical vases, and may even include figurines. Effigy decoration is common. 
      Dating: Terminal Classic (San Juan variety) and Early Postclassic (Tohil variety). 
      Formal Names: Both San Juan and Tohil varieties are found in El Salvador (Sharer 1978). It is interesting to note that approximately one third of all Tohil vessels recorded in the only pan-Mesoamerican inventory to date were from El Salvador (Shepard 1948). 
3d. Olocuilta Orange and Santa Tecla Red Vessels 
    These two distinctive varieties of Late Preclassic ceramic vessels share many forms and types of decoration. Forms include a variety of bowls that may have very wide everted rims with scalloped and incised designs (in extreme cases the rims may be extended to form fish or other animal effigies when viewed from above). Bowls may also include faceted flanges. Some bowls may take the form of toad effigies. Usulutan decoration (very often poorly preserved) may be present. The Santa Tecla Red variety is distinguished by its dense dark red slip, while Olocuilta Orange has a light orange slip (often with a powdery texture when slightly eroded). Santa Tecla Red may have graphite rubbed into grooves. 
      Dating: Late Preclassic (Chul and Caynac Ceramic Complexes). 
      Formal Names: Santa Tecla and Olocuilta Ceramic Groups (Sharer 1978; Demarest 1986). Please note that in these sources "Olocuilta" (which is the name of a Salvadoran town) was misspelled "Olocuitla". 
3e. Incised or Excised Vessels 

Here are considered different varieties of ceramic vessels whose salient visual trait is decoration based on incision or excision. 

    Pinos: Pinos vessels have a smooth streaky black to brown slip with (post- slip) incisions on the exterior forming geometric designs. These incisions are sometimes filled with red or white pigment. Forms include a variety of bowl forms. Defined as part of the Chul and Caynac Ceramic Complexes of the Late Preclassic Period (Sharer 1978; Demarest 1986). 

    Lolotique: A variety of bowl forms of a dark and dull red color with fine post-slip incised geometric patterns. Defined as part of the Chul and Caynac Ceramic Complexes of the Late Preclassic Period (Sharer 1978; Demarest 1986). 

    Chalate Carved: Cylindrical vessels with a band of false glyphs or geometric designs carved below the rim. Details within this excavated band may be emphasized with incision. Vessel bodies are usually tan colored, and cream slip was sometimes added over the exterior, avoiding the carved band which sometimes was painted with red slip. When the cream slip is present, negative designs of dots, circles, water lilies, or egrets may be barely visible on the vessel body. The name of this Late Classic type is provisional and was proposed by Boggs based on its abundance in the Chalatenango area. 

    Red Excised: Cylindrical vessels with a band of false glyphs or geometric decoration excised below the rim and vertical excised grooves usually covering the rest of the exterior, sometimes with two opposing excised panels representing animal heads or other designs. Slipped with a dark red-orange color. Short solid tabular or nubbin supports may be present. Provisional name for a Late Classic type common in central El Salvador. 

    Cotzumalhuapa Incised Cylindrical Vases: Cylindrical vases, orange to brown in color, with fine incision including geometric motifs and monkeys. The rim area is distinguished by a band or groove. Late Classic Period.

3f. Vessels With Red Decoration 

Here are grouped together varieties of ceramic vessels whose principal decoration was executed in red paint. 

    Marihua Red on Buff: Forms include: hemispherical bowls, bowls with rounded bases and flaring walls (these usually have three hollow or cylindrical supports, sometimes in the form of bird heads), and jars with three handles. Broad red lines form geometric designs on the buff colored interior of bowls and the exterior of jars. Designs include arcs, crosses, step frets, ehecatcozcatl (split snail shell motif), and others. Very rare are finely incised designs in a band on the exterior of bowls. Postclassic Period (Haberland 1964). 

    Guarumal: Almost all known examples are jars. Part of the jar exterior (reddish brown in color) is painted with a dense and hard red paint that is finely crazed. The paint may cover the upper portion of vessels, or may be distributed as panels, large dots or arcs. Rarely the entire vessel exterior is covered in red. A decorative option was to apply white paint in circles (applied with a hollow cane) and/or zigzagging lines. This white paint is also very hard and was applied over red painted areas. A small rabbit applique may appear on the vessel body. Late Classic Period (Beaudry 1983). 

    Delirio Red on White: Hemispherical bowls (sometimes made into an armadillo effigy by means of a shingled exterior and appliqued head and tail), bowls with flat or slightly rounded bottoms and flaring walls (these may have hollow cylindrical supports), jars (which may have a pair of effigy head handles below the rim), and other minor forms. A hard white slip was painted in red with very intricate geometric designs. Naturalistic forms are very rare. Late Classic Period (Lepa Ceramic Complex--Andrews 1976). 

    Cara Sucia Red Painted: Jars with dull red-orange paint over a cream-orange slip. The lower body is divided by vertical pairs of bands. Birds or other motifs may be painted on the shoulder of the vessel. Late Classic Period.

3g. Jars With Modeled Effigy Faces 

Here are grouped together different varieties of ceramic jars that sharing the presence of effigy faces or heads applied to the vessel neck. Motifs include: old man, man with goatee and closed eyes, monkey, bird, and schematic humans. 

3h. Tiquisate Vessels 

Tiquisate vessels are entirely orange (ranging from light cream-orange to deep orange in color). Their surface is very hard and may "ring" when tapped. Vessel forms include hemispherical bowls and cylindrical vases. Decoration may take the form of rows of bosses, incised geometric designs, or stamped scenes of humans, animal heads, twisted bands, or other designs. Late Classic. 

3i. Fine Paste Vessels 

Forms include small flat bottomed bowls with vertical walls and hollow rattle supports, and piriform vessels with ring bases. Vessels walls are very thin and "ring" when tapped. An orange may be applied to the vessel with the exception of the base. Fine incising may be found on the exterior of bowls and may retain white and blue post-fire paint. Terminal Classic Period. 

3j. Cara Sucia Pedestal-based Bowls 

A distinctive type of bowl with a tall pedestal base. The bowls often have a basal flange, and red painted zones are sometimes found on the interior. Late Classic Period. 

3k. Stuccoed Vessels 

Here are grouped a variety of vessel forms and types whose common denominator for the purposes at hand is the presence of stuccoed decoration. The stucco involved is usually a white kaolin clay with blue, blue-green, red, yellow, or brown pigment mixed in, and probably had (originally) an organic binder or agglutinate. Since that binder long since ceased to function, the stuccoed decoration tends to be very fragile. Designs are usually simple bands or geometric motifs, but occasionally human or animal figures may be represented. Entirely stuccoed vessels seem to be most common in the Late Classic, and perhaps especially so in the Terminal Classic. 

3l. Guazapa Scraped Slip Vessels 

Jars with a brown body, over which was applied a cream colored slip that was finger dragged (like finger painting) while it was still wet, creating curving or wavy designs. A reddish-orange wash was sometimes applied over the scraped slip. Early and Late Classic Periods. 

3m. Ancient Imports: Late Classic Palmar and Other Lowland Maya Ceramics 

Several vessels of so-called "Peten Glossware" have been found in El Salvador that include the formally defined Palmar Ceramic Group, and may also include examples of the Saxche Ceramic Group and others (Sharer 1978). To date, three such vessels have been found in scientific excavation (one in a Tazumal tomb in the 1940's, a Palmar vessel in an offering with an eccentric flint in San Andres in the 1970's, and a Palmar vessel in a grave on the outskirts of San Salvador in 1993). Several others have been documented in looting situations, including three recorded by Sharer (1978), and in private collections. Although these vessels were not made in the territory of El Salvador, they were definitely ancient imports and as such form part of Salvadoran cultural heritage, providing important testimony relative to long- distance social and economic relationships. 

Forms include bowls with flat or slightly rounded bottoms and walls ranging from slightly flaring (nearly vertical) to broadly flaring walls; shallow simple bowls; tecomates (spherical forms with a small orifice); and cylindrical vases. Bowls may have ring bases, hollow cylindrical supports, or other forms of supports. Decoration consists of an orange or cream base slip over which were painted designs in black, red, and sometimes yellow. Designs include: glyph bands; humans standing, seated, dancing, or in other attitudes; heads (human, animal, God K, and others); animals in different positions; and other themes rendered in Late Classic Lowland Maya style. 

4. Ceramic Drums 

Ceramic drums comprise a globular body with a short rim on one extreme (over which the drum surface was stretched) and a long open shaft on the other extreme (which served as a stand). The body may have incised decoration. Surfaces are usually slipped and well polished, and may range from dark brown-black to brown to brownish red in color. Late Classic Period. 

5. Incense Burners 

5a. Ladle Censers 

This category groups together a variety of different spoon or ladle shaped incense burners. These have a handle (which may be a hollow tube or a flattened loop) which supports the "spoon" or "ladle" that actually held the embers over which incense was sprinkled. The ladle portion may have holes perforated to facilitate the circulation of air, and in the taller, more cup- like versions these holes may take the form of crosses or step frets (these are the so-called "Mixteca-Puebla" style censers). Animal heads, claws, or other effigies may be added to end of the handle. 

5b. Three-pronged Censers 

Standing cylinders with three vertical prongs at the top and two long vertical flanges on the sides. Effigy faces may be added to the vessel bodies (bats have been noted). Post-fire paint added in red, orange, and white. Late Preclassic and Early Classic Periods (Sharer 1978). 

5c. Lolotique Spiked Censers 

The bowl-shaped censer body is supported by a tall pedestal base with perforations in the form of two large squares or circles, or slits. Short spikes cover the base and body. May retain remnants of post-fire red or white paint. Late Classic Period (Andrews 1978). 

5d. Las Lajas Spiked Censers 

Large hourglass-shaped censer covered by short spikes. Incised or modeled decoration may be found on the everted rims found at top and bottom. An internal shelf may be present to hold the large clay dish that supported the embers. Early Postclassic Period (Fowler 1981). 

5e. San Andres Stone Censers 

Squat barrel-shaped censers of hard volcanic stone with columns of spikes on part of the exterior. The upper part of these censers have a dish-like depression to contain embers. Late Classic Period. 

5f. Large Effigy Censers 

Different varieties of censers whose common traits are their relatively large size and the prominent presence of elaborate effigies covering much or all of the censer body. In extreme cases, the censer is entirely concealed within a virtual ceramic sculpture. As an alternative to a single large effigy, some present several figures on a single censer, or a single element (like a head) repeated several times. Recorded effigies have included: the god Tlaloc (identifiable by a large ring around each eye); an individual with bulbous protruding eyes; the god Xipe Totec (appearing as an individual wearing a flayed human skin); jaguars; monkeys; iguanas; large saurians (so- called Earth Monsters), GIII (a manifestation of the Sun god identifiable by a twisted cord extending vertically between the eyes and catfish-like barbels curling from the sides of the mouth); and others. Mostly Late Classic and Postclassic Periods. 

5g. Cotzumalhuapa Goblet Censers 

Large goblet shaped vessel forms (essentially a large bowl with walls that begin as vertical and midway to the rim moderately flare outward, with a pedestal base), usually with signs of burning on the interior base. These censers may be unadorned, or may have two or three hollow head effigies rising directly from the rim, or they may have many small effigy heads attached in a row around the vessel just below its rim (monkey and iguana heads have been documented). Lids, when present, may appear as inverted bowls, with or without an effigy figure on top (one example has a large seated monkey). Late Classic Period. 

6. Mushroom Effigies 

Though some regard these as phallic effigies, most agree that mushrooms are represented. Two varieties are presented here. 

6a. Ceramic Mushroom Effigies 

Tall hollow bases rise from a flaring base and taper upwards to support the mushroom "cap". The body may be plain or may carry red paint and fine incisions (usually in the form of rows of triangles). Probably Late Preclassic and Early Classic Periods. 

6b. Stone Mushroom Effigies 

Usually made of fine-grained volcanic stone. The shaft of the mushroom rises from a base that may be cylindrical or square, and occasionally has short supports. Near the "cap" may often be found two raised bands representing the point from which the cap separates from its stem as it opens. Late Preclassic and Early Classic Periods. 

7. Stone Sculpture 

7a. Preclassic Animal Head Sculptures 

Monumental sculptures in volcanic stone representing very stylized animal heads (Demarest 1986). These have usually been interpreted as jaguar heads, but reptilian elements may also be present. These were apparently architectural elements associated with Late Preclassic Period pyramids. 

7b. Cotzumalhuapa Sculpture 

Monumental sculptures in volcanic stone in the Cotzumalhuapa style (see Parsons 1967, 1969). Themes known from El Salvador include: a snake emerging from the ground, a skeletal figure with a hat resembling a derby, a coiled snake, and a disk with a jaguar face. Some of these are made from two stones which connect by means of a hidden tenon. Late Classic Period. 

7c. Tenoned Head Sculptures 

Long sculptures of volcanic stone with an animal head at one end and an undecorated tenon at the other, intended to be mounted in monumental architecture. The heads usually represent a bird or reptile. Late Classic Period. 

7d. Balsamo Sculpture 

These portable sculptures are usually made of vesicular volcanic stone and represent a human form in a squatting position. The vertebrae are usually indicated as a notched ridge on the individual's back. Although this form predominates, a grasshopper sculpture is also documented. Postclassic Period. 

7e. Yugos 

"U"-shaped ballgame yugos (yokes) made of dense volcanic stone. Very rare examples may carry carved decoration. Late Classic Period. 

7f. Hachas 

Thin ballgame hachas usually representing animal or human heads (a variety of other designs are also found, such as a coiled snake and a skull). Made of fine-grained volcanic stone. Some examples have iron pyrite "eyes" and traces of red paint. Late Classic Period. 

7g. Effigy Metates 

Metates with a thin and slightly curving body, with an animal head at one end. A tail may be present at the other end. These are usually supported by three tall supports. Made of dense volcanic stone. Late Classic and Early Postclassic Periods. 

8. Small Stone Artifacts 

8a. Jade or Similar Greenstone Artifacts 

Lustrous and hard green-colored stone crafted into: beads (spherical, globular, tubular, discoidal); pendants (plain or with human or animal effigies, including so called "axe gods" and canine tooth effigies); plaques (or pectorals) with elaborate designs; masks; mosaics; earspools; animal or human effigies (heads or full figure); or schematic squatting human forms (similar to examples from the El Cajon area of Honduras). 

8b. Eccentric Chipped Stone 

Flint, chert, or obsidian flaked into eccentric forms. These may include: a zigzag lance point form, a disc with three prongs or spike on one side, and elaborate large effigy eccentrics apparently meant to serve as scepters (similar to those found in caches at Copan, Quirigua, and other sites). Late Classic Period. 

8c. Obsidian Artifacts in General 

Prismatic blades, bifacial artifacts (lance points, arrow points, "knives"), cores, and other objects made from obsidian (a black colored volcanic glass). 

8d. Pyrite Mosaic "Mirrors" 

A mosaic of carefully fitted plaques of iron pyrite placed on a thin disc- shaped backing made of stone or clay that may have designs on one side. When new, the pyrite reflected light brilliantly, but archaeological specimens have often lost their shine due to oxidation (the pyrite may convert to a brownish black crust). Late Classic and perhaps other periods. 

8e. Paint Pallets 

Small artifacts of vesicular volcanic stone with a dish shaped or squared depression on one surface. Some pallets are simple, being essentially natural cobbles of a flattened oblong shape with the depression worked on one surface, or sometimes two depressions on opposing surfaces. Others are elaborately carved and may include four supports and animal or human head effigies. Traces of red pigment have been found on some pallets. Late Classic and possibly other periods. 

8f. Translucent Stone Bowls 

Thin bowls carved from light colored translucent stone (which in different cases has been labeled as marble, alabaster, and onyx). At least some of these may be ancient imports from the territory of Honduras. Late Classic Period. 

8g. Barkbeaters 

Tabular dense stone artifacts with numerous longitudinal parallel incisions worked on one or both broad faces. On one variety (Classic and Postclassic Periods), three of the four narrow sides have a broad groove meant to receive a very pliable stick wound around it as a handle. The other variety considered here has an integral stone handle (Late Preclassic). 

8h. Celts 

These were originally mounted on wood handles for use as hatchets or adzes. Made of very dense, fine-grained stone and are often highly polished near the bit and sometimes over the entire body. Some examples are made of jade or stone resembling jade. 

9. Metal Artifacts 

9a. Copper Celts 

Mounted on wooden handles for use as hatchets or adzes. Long copper celts with a rectangular cross section. May have a dark patina. Postclassic Period. 

9b. Copper Rings 

Copper finger rings made with the lost wax technique. Documented examples include filigree details or effigy heads. Terminal Classic and Postclassic Periods. 

9c. Copper Bells 

Copper bells, plain or with effigies, usually made by the lost wax technique. Postclassic Period. 

9d. Tumbaga Artifacts 

Tumbaga is an alloy of copper and gold. Artifacts made of Tumbaga may present a mottled surface looking golden in parts. Tumbaga artifacts documented for El Salvador include small animal figurines made by the lost wax technique, and a small hammered sheet mask with eyes and mouth cutouts. Late Classic Period. 

Inapplicability of Notice and Delayed Effective Date 

Because this amendment is being made in response to a bilateral agreement entered into in furtherance of the foreign affairs interests of the United States, pursuant to Sec. 553(a)(1) of the Administrative Procedure Act, no notice of proposed rulemaking or public procedure is necessary. For the same reason, a delayed effective date is both impracticable and contrary to the public interest. 

Regulatory Flexibility Act 

Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required, the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply. Accordingly, this final rule is not subject to the regulatory analysis or other requirements of 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604. 

Executive Order 12866 

This amendment does not meet the criteria of a "significant regulatory action" as described in E.O. 12866. 

Drafting Information 

The principal author of this document was Peter T. Lynch, Regulations and Disclosure Law Branch, Office of Rules and Regulations, U.S. Customs Service. However, personnel from other offices participated in its development. 

List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 12 

Customs duties and inspections, Imports, Cultural property. 

Amendment to the Regulations 

Accordingly, Part 12 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 12) is amended as set forth below: 

PART 12--[AMENDED] 

1. The general authority is revised and specific authority citation for Part 12, in part, continues to read as follows: 

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 20, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)), 1624. 

************************************ 

Sections 12.104-12.104i also issued under 19 U.S.C. 2612. 

2. Paragraph (a) of Sec. 12.104g is added to read as follows: 

Sec. 12.104g Specific items or categories designated by agreements or emergency actions. 

(a) The following is a list of agreements imposing import restrictions on the described articles of cultural property of State Parties. The listed Treasury Decision contains the Designated Listing with a complete description of specific items or categories of archaeological or ethnological material designated by the agreement as coming under the protection of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act. Import restrictions listed below shall be effective for no more than five years beginning on the date on which the agreement enters into force with respect to the United States. This period may be extended for additional periods of not more than five years if it is determined that the factors which justified the initial agreement still pertain and no cause for suspension of the agreement exists. Any such extension is indicated in the listing. 
 
 
 

State Party Cultural property T.D. No.
El Salvador Archaeological material representing Prehispanic cultures of El Salvador T.D. 95-20
***************************************** 

Sec. 12.104g [Amended] 

3. Paragraph (b) of Sec. 12.104g is amended by removing, from the listing of emergency import restrictions, the entry for El Salvador. 

George J. Weise, 
Commissioner of Customs. 

Approved: March 7, 1995. 

Dennis M. O'Connell, 
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. 

[FR Doc. 95-6122 Filed 3-9-95; 8:45 am] 
BILLING CODE 4820-02-P 


Home | Site Index | Disclaimer & Credits | Contact Us | Back To Top 
Revised: February 11, 1999
SELECT FROM THE FOLLOWING: 

El Salvador Information Page 

1998 Interim Report

1995 Agreement 

1995 Federal Register Notice (html)
(text) 

1987 Federal Register Notice 

Frequently Asked Questions

 
On October 1, 1999, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will become part of the
U.S. Department of State. Bureau webpages are being updated accordingly. Thank you for your patience.