Peruvian Strirrup-Spout Vessels (Photo Diary)

One of the characteristic Peruvian pottery styles is the stirrup-spout bottle. This type of container features a closed body with a tubular handle in the shape of an up-ended U with a spout in the middle. In some instances, there are two spouts. The handle and spout resemble the stirrup on a European saddle and hence the designation “stirrup-spout.”

In major museums, only a small fraction of the artifacts held by the museum are on display and interpreted for the public. Most of the museum’s artifacts are in vaults where they are available only to researchers. The Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History maintains a Visible Vault in which visitors can view hundreds of archaeological artifacts. The Visible Vault includes archaeological treasures from Ancient Latin America.

According to the Museum display:

“We have selected some objects to feature on exhibition-quality mounts, but most of the six hundred items are displayed in storage mounts that use archival materials ideal for long-term storage. The white band around some of the artifacts is unbleached cotton twill tape that is often used to secure objects in case of an earthquake. We invited you to explore the selected highlights of this rich collection while taking a rare look at how these objects are cared for behind the scenes.”

Shown below are some of the Peruvian stirrup-spout vessels which are in the Museum’s Visible Vault.

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