Olmec Stone Grinding Instrument - PF.4382, Origin: Mexico, Circa: 900 BC to 500 BC, Dimensions: 5" (12.7cm) high, Collection: Pre-Columbian Art, Style: Olmec, Medium: Stone. Through the centuries and throughout human development, many new ideas come and go, and what remains are remnants and ideas of what was. The imagery left is a puzzle that needs to be solved, understanding the passion, dedication and love that was involved. This particular piece is missing its lower compliment, but nevertheless, contains its own mystery and story. The imagery on this stone implement is a combination of nature and man. The speckled stone adds 3- dimensionality to the relief design as well as movement, causing the object to come alive. Three specific objects can be seen. In the center are the head and wings of a bird. On either side are the images of a jaguar, yet the heads are human in appearance. The reverse side is smooth to the touch, contrasting with the upper portion. All three images, human, jaguar and bird are important symbols in ancient Mexico, revealing what was essential to the beliefs and well being of the whole society. The opening in the center allows the piece to be attached to the lower portion, therefore being a major part of its function. Combining all of these items we begin to see the achievements involved and learn to appreciate and respect art and the mystery behind it.