Feline Offering Vessel - artist unknown - Peru, c. 600 BC
This stone sculpted effigy is in the form of a jaguar, a symbol of earthly and supernatural power among the Chavin people (a civilization from the central part of the Andes Mountains in South America).
Vessels, like the one pictured above, were used as special containers for offerings at graves and religious ceremonies. The container could contain food, plants specific to rituals, or small animals. The back of this container — the tail — could have been used as a mortar to crush things that were placed inside the container. The imagery on the container has yet to be deciphered.
Image and information came from the book “30,000 Years of Art: The Story of Human Creativity Across Time and Space”.