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Events in Art and Archaeology

Beneath the Surface: Life, Death, and Gold in Ancient Panama
PHILADELPHIA, UNITED STATES  •  Penn Museum  •  7 February - 1 November 2015
 

Finds at the Precolumbian cemetery of Sitio Conte in central Panama shed light on a mysterious and complex society that thrived there more than 1,000 years ago. A high chieftain's grave site is featured; excavated by Penn Museum archaeologist J. Alden Mason in 1940, the burial contained glittering gold adornments and plaques embossed with animal-human motifs, pottery, tools, and weapons. This new exhibition offers contemporary perspectives on the people and culture from a range of scholars and scientists.

Gold plaque at left 
Panama
Sitio Conte
8th century

Rather simple anthropomorphic figure. Full face. Arms and legs outstretched. Legs end in immense claws; curved arms in a great crescentic hook. Spikes or arms and legs. Twin "tails" ending in hooks with series of hooks along edges. Narrow waist; intaglio triangle (equilateral) on chest. Satanic head on two supports in place of neck. Broad mouth full of triangular teeth. Queer ornaments (?) extending out to sides of mouth with hooks on edge. Animal-like upright ears. Horns or headdress with spikes and hooks. Oval eyes with raised pupils. Elongated nose nares. Two pair of suspension holes.



University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology Website


Contact: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
3260 South Street 
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tel: (1) 215 898 40 00



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