Has this guy been pieced back together? Is the belly button missing, or was is used to store something?
Yes, there are definitely repairs to it—you spotted the cracks!
Can you walk around it to see the raised markings on its back? You might also notice traces of cinnabar, a reddish mineral pigment!
That navel opening is actually a cleverly placed "firing hole," which allowed moisture to escape during firing.
Can you tell me something about this?
Do you see the belly button of this Olmec figure? This was actually a cleverly placed "firing hole"; clay vessels need an opening to allow moisture to escape during firing.
This is one of the oldest objects in Visible Storage! The Olmec are considered the "mother culture" of Mesoamerica. Their art styles and iconography would come to influence many later cultures from the region.