Object Record

Collection Archaeology Collection
Catalogue Number 1981.1411
Date 900-1470
Object Name Vessel
Other Name Stirrup pot
Description A ceramic pot made by the Chimú culture from Trujillo, Peru dated sometime between 1000-1470 AD. The pot has a stirrup shaped spout with a small bird decoration and a shiny black glazed double star shaped body based on gourds or fruit. It is unclear from the provenance data if the reference to Trujillo refers to the city or province of that name in Peru.

The shiny black finish of most Chimú pottery is not achieved by using glazes, but instead is achieved by firing the pottery at high temperatures in a closed kiln which prevents oxygen from reacting with the clay.

Chimú ceramics met two functions: containers for daily domestic use or ceremonial use for offerings at burials. Domestic pottery was developed without higher finishing, while funeral ceramics show more aesthetic commitment. The main features of Chimú ceramics were small sculptures, and manufacturing molded and shaped pottery for ceremonial or daily use. Ceramics were usually stained black, although there are some variations. Lighter ceramics were also produced in smaller quantities. The characteristic brightness was obtained by a rock that previously had been polished. Many animals, fruits, characters, and mystical entities have been represented pictorially on Chimú ceramics.
Dimensions H-20.7 W-15.5 cm
Material Ceramic
Acquisition Gift of William Laurie 1888
People Chimú Culture
Site Name Trujillo/Peru