One of the most interesting and pronounced forms of body adornment in the Ancient Mesoamerican world is that of piercing the ears in order to facilitate the insertion of ear spools or flares. Imagery of these and other forms of personal decoration have been recorded in pictorial scenes on a variety of artifacts. The Maya utilized beautiful jadeite stones, gold and ceramics to create some of the most elaborate and magnificent ear spools ever made.
Certain earspools display incised glyphs which are indications of the first and subsequent owners. Whenever it was reused, or even simply circulated on to other points on its journey, it carried along the record of its initial and perhaps subsequent owners. The Altun Ha Tomb A 1/1 earspools exemplify this kind historical documentation of family heirlooms. Altun Ha ear spools were passed to him from a female member of his family as implicated in the glyphs which read: “she wore these earspools then, as I wear them now”.