Ancient Forms for the Modern Eye April 2018 - Page 112

Chavin (Chongoyape) Fish Effigy Stirrup Vessel
Initial Period – Early Horizon: 1200 – 500 B.C.
Ceramic: Incised grayware
Overall: 7 3/4 x 3 3/4 x 10 1/2 in. (19.7 x 9.5 x 26.7 cm)
This effigy vessel is a faithful representation of a mudfish with its wide,
relatively flat head, large concentrically ringed eyes, arching brows and broad
slit mouth. The small barbels at the sides of the mouth are taste sensors to help
bottom feeders find food in muddy water. The small fins on the sides of the body
and flaring tail are realistically shown. Even the fine, punctate stippling mimics
the rough textured scaly skin of mudfish. The short spout on the stirrup is
characteristic of Chongoyape vessels.


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