A. Sutherland - AncientPages.com - Ancient ‘smiling faces’ are small figurines of reddish clay, associated with ancient cultures of Maya and Aztec.
Usually these ceramic sculptures were solid or hollow-bodied, small in size, sometimes larger and always with their characteristic facial expression – a rather unnatural smile.
Ritually smashed and decapitated, the figurines were often unearthed in Late Classic burials (600-900 CE, El Tajín and Classic Veracruz culture).
They represent the art that flourished from 100BC to 900AD and was created by the Totonac people (in Nahuatl language: "people of hot land"), inhabiting the Veracruz region and neighboring state, Puebla in East-Central Mexico.
The Totonac are believed to be one of the possible creators of the pre-Columbian city of El Tajín, and even participated in building of Teotihuacán(a city which they claim to have built).
So far it is unknown what the function of these pre-Columbian artifacts was....
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