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Perfecting the Craft

A matched pair of Sicán ceremonial cups.
A matched pair of Sicán ceremonial cups.

The Sicán perfected a technique of pounding gold into extremely thin sheets. Archaeologists found two strips of metal from a Sicán site, that were only 0.006 inches thick—almost as thin as a piece of paper. To show respect for their deceased, the Sicán would prepare the dead for the next world by burying them with gold, copper, and shells to carry water.

Text Source: Hiebert, Fredrik, Thornton, Christopher, McInerney, Jeremy, et. al. National Geographic World History: Great Civilizations. Ohio: National Geographic Learning, Cengage Learning, 2016, 486.
Photograph by:
  • Kenneth Garrett/National Geographic Creative