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Nazca pendants

Nazca pendants
AD 100–600
Nazca Valley, Ica, Peru
Gold alloy
17 x 15 cm
José A. Gayoso Collection

By AD 200, metallurgy was well developed in the Andes, and gold, silver, copper, bronze, and various alloys were used to make pendants and other ornaments. Secular and sacred beings painted on Nazca vessels are often depicted wearing pendants made from hammered gold sheet, such as these. The tiny holes at the top of these pendants were probably used to attach them to clothing. The pendants show what is referred to as a “smiling deity,” with what may be sunrays or snakes hanging down below his cheeks typically flaring out in different directions.

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