Nazca ceramics

I am revising my plan for ARCHAEO-Crush posts… Clearly, my busy schedule cannot accommodate one post per month, so I am trying one per season. (Let’s see how that goes.)  My ARCHAEO-Crush for winter 2019 is from a civilisation better known for its geoglyphs…

NAZCA CERAMICS

Type: artefact (ceramics)
Civilisation: Peruvian, Nazca (also spelled Nasca)
Date: 200 BCE and 600 CE

ARCHAEO-Crush: This is really an archaeological crush because I don’t really know anything about the Nazca culture of ancient Peru. When I became curator of ancient art, I suddenly found myself in charge of archaeological collections from the Ancient Americas, artefacts from cultures I had never studied at uni or others I knew about from a television show I absolutely loved as a kid. I have since been paying more attention to these amazing civilisations and their material culture. I knew of the Nazca geoglyphs (aka the ‘Nazca Lines‘), but had never seen other materials produced by the Nazca people until recently (not every museum has a collection of ancient  American art and amongst those not all include Nazca art).

I immediately fell in love with Nazca ceramics the second I laid eyes on them. They are the most colourful vessels I have ever seen (in earth tones, no less!) and decorated with incredibly adorable (and occasionally unexpected) figures and designs. The selection above are from the Milwaukee Public Museum (an unexpectedly stunning museum by the way!), the Field Museum in Chicago and the San Antonio Museum of Art. Seriously cute, don’t you think?

Bucket list status:  One day I’ll get to Peru and will see the Nazca Lines (and other things); in the meantime I will enjoy the ceramics in museum collections.

Additional information: This is a nice little article in the Ancient  History Encyclopedia about of the Nazca civilisation.

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