Excavations at Chan Chan in Peru, capital of the Chimú kingdom that came to power around AD 850-900, have uncovered a fine example of a wooden sculpture with very well-preserved paint (below) that joins other wooden sculptures known from the site.
The painted face and nose of this litter-bearer for a ruler are vivid, and the vertical stripes of the headgear are still visible. The mother-of-pearl that was once affixed to the eyes and ears with a black resin has, however, been lost.
Based on its style, the 47cm-tall figure is thought to be early Chimú.
The discovery was made in Huaca Takaynamo to the north of the main complex, as part of the ‘Recovery of the Huaca Takaynamo’ project by the Ministry of Culture’s Chan Chan Archaeological Complex Special Project.
Parts of a necklace of nectandra seeds and small bag were also found with the sculpture.