Choice condition. The function of Pre-Columbian seals has long been a matter of debate.
They were not used to stamp clay like Near Eastern seals. The lack of evidence in
the archaeological record led various researchers to suggest that these seals could
have been used for body painting, decorating ceramics, bark or textiles, or sculpting
sand. However, Anthony Ortegon's study, "Pre-Columbian Stamp Seals," indicates with
a fair amount of certainty that these seals were used to decorate food, specifically
breads. His studies indicate that most stamp seals yield evidence of absorbed starches
in laboratory testing, which would only occur if the seals were used regularly in
the production of food. Although both flat and roller seals were used in food production,
roller seals are far less common. Ortegon cites the ratio of flat to roller seals
in museum collections as approximately 35:1. Measures 5" in length.