Head Fragment

Head Fragment

A.D. 400-1000
Culture
Tiwanaku
Country
Bolivia
head, sculpture
Basalt
Gift of Frederick and Jan Mayer
1992.503
. Head Fragment . A.D. 400-1000. Basalt. Gift of Frederick and Jan Mayer. 1992.503.
Dimensions
height: 5.25 in, 13.3350 cm; width: 3.125 in, 7.9375 cm; depth: 4 in, 10.1600 cm
Department
Mayer Center, Art of the Ancient Americas
Collection
Art of the Ancient Americas

Head Fragment
Tiwanaku
A.D. 400–1000
Bolivia
Basalt
Gift of Frederick and Jan Mayer, 1992.503

This head was likely broken from a small sculpture of a man dressed in elaborately patterned garments.  Similar sculptures of monumental scale were erected at Tiwanaku, located in the Bolivian altiplano (high plains) near Lake Titicaca.  Tiwanaku was the capital of a powerful state that exerted political, cultural, and economic influence throughout a large region that included territories that are now part of Peru and Chile.  The large statues likely represent Tiwanaku rulers or lineage founders, and were the focus of public veneration.  This much smaller work was probably used in more private rituals.

Exhibition History
  • "Tiwanaku: Ancestors of the Inca"— Denver Art Museum, 10/16/2004 — 1/23/2005

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