Breckenridge Texan

Ancient artifacts on exhibit at Breckenridge Fine Arts Center

Ancient artifacts on exhibit at Breckenridge Fine Arts Center
February 27
10:25 2019

The community of Breckenridge has the opportunity to see a collection of ancient, Pre-Columbian relics from Costa Rica. The exhibit of more than 100 pieces will be on display through Friday, March 8, at the Breckenridge Fine Arts Center.

The items in the Pre-Columbian exhibit at the BFAC range in size from 1/2-inch to 3 inches.

Shalon Wilson, director of the BFAC, said that, based on her research, the small gold artifacts were made between 100 and 700 A.D. and were unearthed in the early 1500s when the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in the area now known as North and Central America. They are on loan to the BFAC by Breckenridge resident Jack Brown.

“These were all dug up from the same Aztec gravesite,” Wilson said. “They are very detailed, even down to the eyes. Almost every one of them has little swirls on them; that’s because the Aztec culture was obsessed with water culture…oceans, rivers, etc.”

Another theme of many of the pieces is duality, she said. “Many of the pieces are half man, half bat or half man, half dragon. The Aztecs were fascinated with duality,” Wilson said. “It’s a representation of how good can come from two different places.”

Wilson said she researched how the items were created, especially since they are so intricate. The process involved carving an item out of wax, surrounding it with clay and then removing the wax and filling the clay with gold.

Jade pieces

The collection includes two jade pieces, and the rest are gold. Some were worn as necklaces or pendants, while some were apparently pinned to clothing. The smallest item in the collection measures about ½-inch tall, and the largest piece is about three inches high.

The Breckenridge Fine Arts Center is located at 207 N. Breckenridge Ave. and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call the BFAC at (254) 559-6602.


Many of the gold pieces are intricately designed animal figures.

Cutline, top photo: Many of the gold relics in the exhibit at the Breckenridge Fine Arts Center feature swirls, which represent water, said Shalon Wilson, director of the BFAC. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Story by Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Photos by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan



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