Link to enlarge image K5741 © Justin Kerr Charles Zidar

Family:  Spondylidae
Genus:  Spondylus
Species:  americanus
Authority:  Hermann, 1781
Common Name:  Thorny Oyster
Faunal Type:  Shell
Depictions:  Shell/Bead
Significance:  Thorny oyster shells were made into beads by the Maya. This shell was also used in mosaic vases and masks. Beads were made into necklaces with pearls and jade. The shells were also made into pendants and earflares. This shell was an integral part of building tributes and burials. Sacred shell to the ancient Maya used in burial caches. Shell often colored with red ocher found in ceramics in association with bird bones and jade representing the sea, the land and the sky.

Other Faunal Photos:   Additional views of the faunal species, click on a photo below to view larger image.
Artifact Photo(s) Courtesy of Justin Kerr (FAMSI); Animal Photo(s) Courtesy of Wikipedia GNU General Public License Version 1.2, November 2002; Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0/2.5 License(s).

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