Tiwanaku was founded around 200 BC in the basin of Lake Titicaca in western Bolivia. By AD 500 it had grown into a massive city and the center of an early Andean state. Goods produced in the city were traded widely and were important to Tiwanaku’s wealth and status. These ornaments came to the Museum through the efforts of geologist Reynolds Denning. Professor Denning, who taught in the U-M Department of Geology and Mineralogy from 1950 to 1967, worked in Bolivia and Peru during World War II to help increase the mining and production of strategic tin sources. He collected the bronze pendant and stone beads at Tiwanaku in August 1944.
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.