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Pottery Bottle, Peru, South America
This bottle is likely to have been made by the Chimú people, who lived in northern Peru. It dates from AD1100-1300 and depicts a human-like figure holding a monkey. Much Chimúan pottery incorporates representations of human-like characters and animals, usually monkeys or seabirds, into their design. The geometric patterns on the pot are thought to represent waves, representing the culture's relationship with the sea and maritime excursions. The consistency of the shapes and decorations are often achieved via the mass production technique of 'press moulding'. The Chimú are best known for making black pottery, which is thought to have been accomplished by reducing oxygen levels during the clay firing process. Before firing the clay, they would often burnish the vessel in order to give it a unique silver sheen; it is because of this that Chimúan pottery was very rarely painted. The majority of Peruvian pottery is black in colour, characterised by a distinctive metallic look. The bottle is 21.0 cm high and 15.0 cm wide. TRURI : 1927.49
© RIC, photographer Mike Searle