A Chimú “monkey pot” from Pacasmayo, Peru. Date: AD 1100–1470. Latin American Archaeology, Beal-Steere Collection. UMMAA 6318.

Accession number 1 in the UMMAA collections consists of nearly 800 objects acquired by UM zoologist Joseph Beal Steere during his remarkable 1870–1875 collecting expedition. Steere’s trip took him to Brazil, Peru, Taiwan, China, and the Philippines and added more than 60,000 biological specimens and archaeological and ethnographic artifacts to the University’s collections. Indeed, the arrival of Steere’s massive collections in Ann Arbor led the University to construct its first dedicated museum building, which opened in 1881. This Chimú-style (AD 1100–1470) earthenware jar was excavated by Steere in 1871 in the valley of Pacasmayo on the north coast of Peru. It is one of more than 200 Peruvian ceramic vessels in the Museum’s Beal-Steere Collection. Appliqued animal figures are common on mold-made Chimú ceramics; a wide-eyed monkey figure protrudes from the neck of this jar.

Continue to Day 2.

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.