Joseph Beal Steere collected this vessel in Chimbote on the north coast of Peru in 1871. The vessel, which is painted with black, red, and white mineral pigments, has a single vertical loop handle. Opposite the handle, an appliquéd monkey with painted face clings to the vessel neck. The potter who shaped this vessel borrowed from several contemporary Peruvian ceramic traditions. This makes the vessel challenging to characterize in the absence of information on its archaeological context, which Steere did not record. It likely belongs to a ceramic tradition known as Wari Norteño, a provincial style associated with the expansionist late first millennium AD Wari state. Uneven firing conditions likely contributed to the warping of the vessel’s lower half and the uneven surface coloration.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.