Double spout and bridge pottery vessel. The exterior is painted in red, orange, light pink, grey, crimson, white and brown, and depict a repeating motif of a multicolored bird with small talons. The two spouts are surrounded by two flowers, while the base is painted with a repeating fish motif.
Not all birds depicted in Nazca art can be identified to a particular species. Some representations are quite naturalistic, while others combine fantastic and anthropomorphic elements. Certain birds are still revered in the Andean region today. The people of the modern town of Nazca believe that the condor and other birds, such as the pelican and the heron, are manifestations of the mountain gods. To catch sight of one of these birds means that rain will fall in the mountains.

The technique and range of colours used on this large vessel mark the peak of Nazca achievements. The number of colours used by Nazca artists is larger than that used by any other culture in the Americas before European contact.


The Nazca culture (also Nasca) was the archaeological culture that flourished from 100 BC to 800 AD beside the dry southern coast of Peru in the river valleys of the Rio Grande de Nazca drainage and the Ica Valley. Having been heavily influenced by the preceding Paracas culture, which was known for extremely complex textiles, the Nazca produced an array of beautiful crafts and technologies such as ceramics, textiles, and geoglyphs (most commonly known as the Nazca lines). They also built an impressive system of underground aqueducts, known as puquios, that still function today. The Nazca Province in the Ica Region was named for this people.

Excavations at Cahuachi have given archaeologists key insights into the culture. The material remains found at the site included large amounts of polychrome pottery, plain and fancy textiles, trace amounts of gold and spondylus shell, and an array of ritual paraphernalia. The remains of pottery found at Cahuachi led archaeologists to believe that the site was specifically non-urban and ceremonial in nature. The ratio of plain, utilitarian pottery to fine, polychrome pottery was 30% to 70%. If it was an urban center, for example, the amount of utilitarian ceramics would have probably been higher. Among the foodstuffs found were the Three Sisters: maize, squash, and beans; as well as peanuts, and some fish.

The Nazca culture is characterized by its beautiful polychrome pottery, painted with at least 15 distinct colors. The shift from post-fire resin painting to pre-fire slip painting marked the end of Paracas-style pottery and the beginning of Nazca-style pottery. The use of pre-fire slip painting meant that a great deal of experimentation took place in order to know which slips produced certain colors. Major pottery shapes include double-spout bottles, bowls, cups, vases, effigy forms, and mythical creatures. Archaeologists have excavated highly valued polychrome pottery among all classes of Nazca society, illustrating that it was not just the elite that had access to them. Commoners were able to obtain these goods through feasting and pilgrimages to Cahuachi. In addition, clays matching the chemical signature of polychrome pottery found all over the Southern Nazca Region have been found near Cahuachi. However, there is no substantial evidence

Ex William ‘Billy’ Jamieson collection.

PERIOD: 15th Century and Earlier
CONDITION: Fair. Has Cracks most visible on bottom and some on side. Please see pictures..
HEIGHT: 7 in. (18 cm)
DIAMETER: 5 in. (13 cm)
Weight 0.450 kg
Dimensions 25 x 25 x 27 cm