This small jar comes from the urban center of Tiwanaku, in the Tititica Basin of western Bolivia. Tiwanaku is known for its impressive, monumental architecture and temples. The cosmopolitan city, which reached its maximal extent and influence between AD 500 and 1000, attracted residents and pilgrims from many regions and was a center of craft production and trade. Carlos Ponce Sangines donated this small Tiwanaku jar to the Museum in 1959. It is one of two vessels he claimed to have acquired from a farmer, who had excavated it from a tomb at the site (see also Day 48). Stylized representations of animals, including felines, birds, camelids, and serpents, are common on Tiwanaku vessels.
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.