- Previous 0/54610
Axe-shaped ornament made of gold.
- 1st century - 3rd century (McEwan 2009)
- Excavated/Findspot: Peru
- (Americas,South America,Peru)
- Height: 19.8 centimetres
- Width: 25.5 centimetres
- Depth: 25.5 centimetres
- Depth: 1.8 centimetres
<b>McEwan 2009, p.22
Gold Diadem with embossed face. Siguas culture, Peru, 1st-3rd century AD </b>
The central image on this object is a disembodied head with large round eyes and outstretched arms. Beneath the mouth, a pattern of parallell vertical embellishments may represent a beard, and a continuous row of embossed circles - possibly dropletes of water - runs around the outer edge. Other similar figures have tear-lines visible on their cheeks and could be very early manifestations of the figure still described today in popular lore as the Andean Thunder God Tunupa - a celestial deity who controls the weather. The perforations visible around the head suggest that the object was sewn on to a textile backing and worn as a diadem affixed to a turban or headdress. They may have been used by rules to proclaim their supernatural powers and may also have adorned the mummy bundles of deified ancestors.
Not on display
2003 15 Dec-2009 Jun, BM, 'Living and Dying'
2016 26 Jan-30 Oct, Cardiff, National Museum of Wales, Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology
Africa, Oceania & the Americas
- Am1878C2.7820 (old CDMS no.)
If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: email@example.com
Object reference number: ESA5588
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.
The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.