For centuries, potters on Peru’s north coast adapted and transformed ceramic technologies drawing on both internal innovations and inspirations from other regions. In the 1530s, Spanish colonizers brought glazed ceramics from Europe to the region. Within a few decades, indigenous potters were applying lead glazes to traditional, mold-made, coastal vessel forms as well as creating new molded forms, including flat-bottomed pitchers and bowls with molded floral motifs. The ceramics shown here are the descendants of these colonial-era innovations in ceramic technology. Joseph Beal Steere collected them in the early 1870s in Cajamarca, Peru, an important upland market center that linked inhabitants of the Peruvian coast to those from inland regions. Steere’s collection of Andean ceramics, which includes items from the early first millennium AD to the late 19th century, provides rich evidence for understanding long-term changes in ceramic production and use.
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.