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Nature volume 155, pages 5455 (13 January 1945) | Download Citation



Peruvian Pottery the gap between the Early Chimú (or Mochica) and Late Chimú pottery has long troubled students of Peruvian archæology, though Kroeber in particular has made great efforts to indicate the probable characteristics of a Middle Chimu style. Jorge C. Muelle (Univ. California Pub. Amer. Arch, and Eihnol., 39, No. 3. 35 cents) despairs of finding pottery which may bridge the gap, and suggests instead that the Late Chimú pottery developed from metal prototypes, most of which have, for obvious enough reasons, disappeared. He points out many metallic features in the Late Chimú bucchero ware, and illustrates some interesting parallels between pottery and metal forms. The theory is ingenious, but it is difficult to regard it as altogether satisfactory. There are many points of similarity between Early and Late Chimú, and it seems improbable that lost metal forms can be the only link between two cultures so rich in pottery. Until the northern part of the Peruvian coast is more thoroughly explored, the possibility of finding an intermediate pottery style cannot be excluded. In support of his theory, the author makes a suggestion that the heavy stirrup-spouted "coastal Chavin" vessels were derived from metal forms, which were in their turn copied from Early Chimú stirrup spouts. In so doing he disregards the general belief that the coastal Chavin, or Cupisnique, style is earlier than Early Chimu, a belief which recent excavations by Rafael Larco Hoyle have done much to uphold.

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