An image of a golden llama.

Past exhibition

11 November 2021 – 20 February 2022

Room 35

The Joseph Hotung Great Court Gallery

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For the catalogue, visit the British Museum Shop.

This exhibition invited visitors to step into the vibrant world of Peru and discover how people have thrived for millennia in one of the most complex and challenging environments on the planet.

Marking Peru's bicentennial year of independence, this exhibition highlighted the history, beliefs and cultural achievements of the different peoples who lived here from around 2500 BC to the arrival of Europeans in the 1500s, and their legacy in the centuries that followed.

From Peru's early indigenous peoples to the ill-fated Inca, this exhibition explored how past cultures were shaped by the diverse landscapes of the central Andes, flourishing at some of the highest altitudes and in some of the driest deserts on earth. Visitors discovered how they developed unique approaches to time, agriculture, economy and power, some of which endure today. 

The exhibition featured objects from the British Museum's collection, including pottery, precious metals, textiles and ritual paraphernalia, as well as extraordinary pieces borrowed from Peru itself. Striking, large-scale photography and videos of iconic sites, including the Nasca geoglyphs and Machu Picchu, also gave visitors a vivid sense of place and an appreciation of the artistic and architectural prowess of ancient Andean cultures.



View the large print guide, which is designed for visually impaired visitors and provides all the exhibition text in large print.

Exhibition supporter

Prom Peru and Peru logos

As an independent division of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, PROMPERÚ is a government promotion agency, connecting both public and private initiatives, whose mission is to promote a competitive and diversified offer of products and services with the highest quality standards suitable for the international markets. PROMPERÚ carries out a wide range of activities related to trade, investment, and tourism promotion, focused on those linked with the expansion of businesses in foreign markets, the generation of job opportunities and spreading the image of Peru as an exporting country and an attractive investment and tourist destination.