c. 900–1550 (thermoluminescence date, 810–1310)
Overall: 13.1 x 32 x 27.3 cm (5 3/16 x 12 5/8 x 10 3/4 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1999.12
The Tairona civilization lived in the mountains of northern Colombia.
The archaeological Tairona civilization of mountainous northern Colombia is believed to be ancestral to the contemporary Kogi indigenous group. Ancient Tairona sites are terraced, and characterized by circular stone building foundations. The most famous form of Tairona art is gold jewelry, especially lost-wax cast figurines of chiefs, and anthropomorphic bats and birds. Tairona ceramics are less well known. This bowl has two protruding bat heads and four legs. The incurved sides of the bowl to either side of each head represents the bats' wings. The vessel's surface is decorated with raised serpents, as well as incised and impressed patterns.
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