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Updated: 14 April 2015
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.
2003 15 Dec-2009 Jun, BM, 'Living and Dying'
Africa, Oceania & the Americas
- Am1878C2.7820 (old CDMS no.)
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Object reference number: ESA5588
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