Object Image

Figure Bottle

This Moche stirrup spout bottle represents a man wearing a sleeved tunic with vertical bands and carrying funerary items. He is holding a rolled mat in his right hand and a dipper in his left hand. Similar Moche vessels represent mutilated individuals, skeletal beings, and anthropomorphized bats performing the same action. The preparation of the bodies, their shrouds, encasings, and funerary offerings was an elaborate process in Moche society. The body was first wrapped in one or many layers of textiles, then encased in a cane structure, or in a fiber mat, as the one illustrated here. Small copper or stone objects were often placed in the hands and mouth of the deceased. Fine ceramic vessels ar...

3rd-5th century
Ceramic, slip, pigment
19.1 x 14.6cm
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection