Brown ceramic stamp with relief decoration depicting a hummingbird or a bird with a long and pointed beak. The figure shows in detail the wings, a crest on the head, and a tail. A central spiral gives shape to the body. Rear spike as a handle.
To learn more you can read the work of:
Paredes Maury, Sofía. 2011. “Designs and Iconographic Motifs in Pre-Columbian Stamps” in Revista Sellos Prehispánicos, Patrimonio Cultural de Guatemala de GALERÍA GUATEMALA. Editorial Galería Guatemala, Año 13, número 39, 2011 (pág. 60-71). Fundación G &T Continental. Guatemala (Spanish & English)
Sullivan Bachand, Holly. 2011. “Cylindrical Stamps and Estampaderas of the Formative Period in Mesoamerica” en Revista Sellos Prehispánicos, Patrimonio Cultural de Guatemala de GALERÍA GUATEMALA. Editorial Galería Guatemala, Año 13, número 39, 2011 (pág. 16-31). Fundación G &T Continental. Guatemala (Spanish & English)
Pre-Columbian seals are portable objects that combine the art of sculpture (through its details in relief) and the printed decoration (via its painted mark or by pressure). The stamps were used to paint or print on almost any surface, including body decoration used by both men and women. It also could have been used commercially and probably as emblems of social distinction.
There may have been seals made of perishable materials (such as wood, bone and plant fibers), but the ones that have survived to this day in the Maya region are -mostly-made of clay and stone. Stamps and seals have a wide variety of designs and motifs, such as animal motifs (zoomorphic), plants and flowers (phytomorphic), body parts (anthropomorphic), imaginary (abstract symbols), astromorphs (clouds, sun, moon, stars and rays) and a variety of geometric shapes.
Stamps and seals are present in all the Mesoamerica cultures since 1000 BC and their use spread into the Spanish conquest. In Guatemala, they are commonly found in greater amounts in Kaminaljuyú and the central volcanic highlands, as well as the Pacific Piedmont and coast, and in the border regions between the Petén lowlands and the western highlands, especially around the Chixoy River tributaries.