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Moche portrait head

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Dated: 100-750

Cultural Context: Moche style

Origin: Peru (South America)

Medium: Clay, Pigments

Technique: Moulded, Slipped, Painted, Burnished

Dimensions: Height = 15 cm; Width = 16 cm; Depth = 13.50 cm; Base: Width = 12.5 cm Mouth: Diameter = 8 cm

Inventory no.: 11025

Ceremonial sculptural vessel depicting a human head adorned with earspools and face paint. It is one of the so-called "portrait vessels", which show Moche craftsmen's predilection for realistic representations. The great detail with which many of these vessels were made allows us to infer moods such as joy, sadness or pain, as well as the character traits of the figures depicted. According to some scholars, the faces of particular individuals - potentially specific political leaders or representatives - may have been depicted in multiple pieces, some of which may even represent the face of the same individual at different ages.