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A Rare Offering to the Underworld

This is a ceremonial bowl found in a burial and currently part of the exquisite collections at the Museo Larco in Lima, Peru. This bowl is a particularly rare piece because of its unique appearance. Although it seems as though it was made of two types of metal joined together, it is really an alloy of copper, gold, and silver. The surface has been superficially enriched to remove the gold on one side and the silver on the other. Etched on the surface is a complex scene depicting a deity or mythological being associated with water and the sun. The bowl was made by members of the Chimú culture, which developed along the north coast of Peru between A.D. 900 and 1470.

Text Source: National Geographic
Video by:
  • National Geographic with the support of Museo Larco in Lima, Peru