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Authorities said that Mexico has returned from the United States a giant stone statue known as the “Earth Beast”, dating back to the pre-Christian civilization of the Olmecs.

The elaborately carved statue weighs over a ton, is about six feet (1.8 meters) high and five feet (1.5 meters) wide, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said in a statement.

I confirm nuestro consul Jorge Islas de Nueva York que la pieza Olmeca Mas buscada por Mexico ha sido recuperada y está a punto de retornar a su casa, de donde nunca debió ser sustraída. pic.twitter.com/WWQ4H0eOE7

— Marcelo Ebrard K. (@m_ebrard) March 31, 2023

“Our consul Jorge Aillas in New York assured me that the most coveted Olmec item in Mexico has been found and is about to be returned home, where it should never have been moved,” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard tweeted.

The Olmec civilization preceded the Mayan and Aztec civilization, and its artisans were known for making huge stone heads, statues, and vertical panels.

The institute said it believes the statue was created sometime between 800-400 BC.

The sculpture known as Chalcatzingo Monument No. 9, found in the state of Morelos in central Mexico, is believed to represent the “terrestrial beast”, a creature that frequently appears in Olmec iconography.

The statement adds that the item’s open jaws symbolize access to the underworld, and “its mouth bears a row of three concentric bands representing crusader access to the cave.”

Although it is not known how and when it was smuggled out of Chalcatzingo, its publication in 1968 is documented by archaeologist David Grove in the journal American Antiquity. From there, it is thought to have already been in the United States at the beginning of the second half century. The twentieth century”.

New York authorities have restored the monument, but the press release did not specify where it was found.

Authorities said that as part of the Mexican government’s efforts to salvage historical heritage removed from the country, about 10,000 items have been restored since 2018.

Source: Science Alert

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