Bird Spatula

The precolumbian gold room at the metropolitan museum is really spectacular - it is one of the few places you can be in a room surrounded by glowing gold treasure. The artifacts themselves are appealing to me because they reflect the culture of people who are completely unknown to us. It is hard to imagine that we have anything in common with these people, having little or no access to their writing, but we must.

This is a 'bird spatula'. Apparently it was used to scoop lime onto coca leaves so that they would work their magic when chewed. It is somewhere between 400 and 1000 years old. 

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