- Museum number
Axe-shaped ornament made of gold.
- Production date
- 1st century - 3rd century (McEwan 2009)
Height: 19.80 centimetres
Width: 25.50 centimetres
Depth: 1.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- McEwan 2009, p.22
Gold Diadem with embossed face. Siguas culture, Peru, 1st-3rd century AD
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
- Exhibition history
2003 15 Dec-2009 Jun, BM, 'Living and Dying'
2016 26 Jan-30 Oct, Cardiff, National Museum of Wales, Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology
2017-2018, 10 Nov 2017 - 18 Feb 2018, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai, India, India and the World: A History in Nine Stories
2018, 6 May- 30 June, National Museum, New Delhi, India and the World: A History in Nine Stories
- Acquisition date
- 30 December 1878
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Am1878C2.7820 (old CDMS no.)