Zapotec jade and shells mask, ca.200 BC–100 AD, Monte Albán, Mexico. Even though many scholars maintain that this is a bat mask, many of its features point towards its identification as a feline, possibly a jaguar. If so, it may be associated with power and royal lineages. Regardless of its identification, it is one of the most valuable treasures ever recovered from Monte Albán. Photo: © Jorge Pérez de Lara

Zapotec jade and shells mask, ca.200 BC–100 AD, Monte Albán, Mexico. Even though many scholars maintain that this is a bat mask, many of its features point towards its identification as a feline, possibly a jaguar. If so, it may be associated with power and royal lineages. Regardless of its identification, it is one of the most valuable treasures ever recovered from Monte Albán. Photo: © Jorge Pérez de Lara