What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by

Searching...

bowl

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    Am1991,Q.4

  • Description

    Cylindrical bowl (with two lug-handles; sides decorated with twelve relief snakes of which two are spiralled) made of volcanic stone (basalt ?).

  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 40 centimetres
    • Height: 15 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Found apparently unnumbered in the Ethnography Department collections. This item may possibly be 1828,0614.33 "large stone basin from ruins of Temple of the Sun, Cusco". It was previously mis-identified as Am1909,0403.1 and displayed at Burlington Gardens in 'Treasures' exhibition under that number between 1989 and 1991. (AMD,10/1991). See also Am1909,0403.01<b>McEwan 2009, p.15

    Stone Ritual vessel (<i>Cocha</i>) with snake motifs. Inca, Peru, late 15th century AD </b>

    This massive circular ritual vessel or <i>cocha</i> is sculpted from a single block of the black volcanic basalt found in the vicinity of cusco. It is one of a small number of surviving vessels of this size that were probably housed in the Coricancha - the Temple of the Sun - or adjacent sacred precincts of the Inca capital. It was likely used as a receptacle for liquid offerings, perhaps simply to hold water and create a still, reflective surface regarded as an 'eye' seeing into the underworld. The tightly nested concentric coils of the snake's body mimic the whorls and eddies that allude to the dynamics of moving bodies of water. A total of ten serpent heads are symmetrically arrayed around the vessel rim, a pattern resembling the radical arrangement of the <i>ceque</i> system used by the Incas to organize space in Cusco, the imperial capital, and the land beyond, like the slices of a pie.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • McEwan 2009 p. 15 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2003 15 Dec-2009 Jun, BM, 'Living and Dying'
    2013 11 Oct – 2014 16 Mar, Stuttgart, Linden Museum, Historic Inca
    2014 02 Mar – 02 Nov, Rosenheim, Exhibition Hall Lokschuppen, Historic Inca PROMISED
    2014 Oct – 2015 Mar, Paris, Musee Quai Branly, Historic Inca PROMISED

  • Acquisition notes

    Acquisition details unknown.

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number

    Am1991,Q.4

  • Additional IDs

    • Am1828,0614.33 (possible original Register no.)

Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: ESA36389

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...