Bowl with flat bottom, flaring toward top; decorated with supernatural creature, and abstract, zoomorphic design elements


Nazca culture, Peru, Pre-Columbian

5th century AD, Middle Nazca period

A supernatural two-headed, whiskered creature’s serpentine body wraps around the bowl of this vessel. The Nazca culture, probably best known for its colossal earth drawings, produced painted ceramic vessels decorated with abstract figures of flying shamans, animals, and supernatural creatures. They used the coiling technique to hand-build pots but a turntable to apply the painted decoration. They carefully burnished pots before firing.