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One of the most common topics in Andean art is the individual who holds an axe in one hand a human head in the other. Many authors believe that this is a mythic being, not a real person. Myth or reality, the truth is that archaeologists have found decapitated bodies and heads without bodies in archaeological sites throughout the Andes cultural sequence. A rope to carry the heads goes through the foramen magnum and out another hole made in the frontal bone. Several of them still have hair and skin, with lips and eyelids sealed with cactus thorns.
The fact that most of the heads are adult men suggests that they belong to warriors and that they were kept as battle trophies. One alternative interpretation is that these heads are related to agricultural fertility. Today in the Andes the skulls of ancestors are kept by the members of a lineage so that they can watch over the crops and ensure good harvests. In other ceremonies, native peoples cut the “heads” off potatoes and plant them so that new plants will sprout. Therefore, in the past the “cult of the cut off head” could have been a generic reference to the community’s ancestors and to its life-giving powers.

Related cultures:
Nasca
Wari
Moche

Related cultures:

 
Botella asa puente antropomorfa: Cabeza trofeo

Botella asa puente antropomorfa: Cabeza trofeo

Materials: Ceramic

Intermedio Temprano

Measures: 130 mm de alto 400 - 700 d.C.

Part Code: MCHAP 0022

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Botella asa puente: cabeza trofeo

Botella asa puente: cabeza trofeo

Materials: Ceramic

Horizonte Wari-Tiwanaku. Período Medio 700 - 1100 d.C.

Measures: 150 mm de alto x 160 mm de ancho

Part Code: MCHAP 0545

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Botella asa estribo: sacrificador

Botella asa estribo: sacrificador

Materials: Ceramic

Intermedio Temprano 100- 800 d.C.

Measures: 238 mm de alto

Part Code: MCHAP 0289

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Botella asa puente: ronda de decapitados

Botella asa puente: ronda de decapitados

Materials: Ceramic

100 - 700 d.C.

Measures: 147 mm de alto

Part Code: MCHAP 0293

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Botella antropomorfa: sacrificador

Botella antropomorfa: sacrificador

Materials: Ceramic

Medio 700- 1100 d.C.

Measures: 338 mm de alto

Part Code: MCHAP 0470

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