Pre-Incan gold diggers: unearthed treasures of an ancient Peruvian civilization make their North American debut in Calgary.Mysterious cultures, spectacular gold masks and human sacrifices aren't daily fare for most Westerners. But Calgarians might want to prepare for a change this fall when the prairie city Prairie City may refer to:
named after North America.
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see North American blastomycosis.
North American cattle tick
see boophilusannulatus. premiere of Ancient Peru Unearthed Unearthed is the name of a Triple J project to find and "dig up" (hence the name) hidden talent in regional Australia.
Unearthed has had three incarnations - they first visited each region of Australia where Triple J had a transmitter - 41 regions in all. : Golden Treasures of a Lost Civilization, on Sept. 28.
Culled from the tomb of a Sican lord who reigned in the northeast of Peru during the tenth century, the exhibition at the Nickle Arts Museum includes intricate gold jewelry and ceramics never before seen outside of the South American country. Among the more than 100 pieces on display are ceremonial regalia, headdresses, ear spools and dinner plate--sized ornaments, all made of paper-thin sheets of 14- and 18-karat gold. "What we believe we have is very much a Valley of Kings site of elite burials and ceremonial importance," assistant curator Colleen Sharpe says.
Little was known of the Sican culture
The Sican Culture is the name archaeologists have given to a culture that predated the Inca in what is now the north coast of , which predated the Inca by about 400 years, until Izumi Shimada Izumi Shimada is a professor of Anthropology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. His research is on pre-Hispanic cultures of the Andes, archaeology of religion, and mortuary practices. , an archeologist from the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC but usually just referred to as SIU) is located in Carbondale, Illinois. The Carbondale campus is the flagship campus of the Southern Illinois University system, which includes SIU's smaller sister institution Southern Illinois , discovered an untouched burial site in the La Leche River valley of the Lambayeque region in 1978. The site, excavated over two decades, was so rich in gold and jewel-encrusted ornaments, it was nicknamed the King Tut tomb of the Americas.
The signature find, a chilling gold, amber and emerald mask, a metre-and-a-half high by 445 centimetres wide, has, until now, only been exhibited in Paris and Tokyo. "There were queues of countries lined up for these artifacts artifacts
see specimen artifacts. ," Sharpe says, with pride. "It was quite a challenge, politically, to line up an international exhibition."
So how did Calgary land the honour of hosting the stunning pieces? Few may realize it, but Cowtown has been a hotbed hotbed, low, glass-covered frame structure for starting tender plants. It differs from a cold frame only in that the soil is heated—either artificially as by underground electric wiring or steampipes, or naturally with partially fermented stable manure, which for Latin American studies Latin American Studies (sometimes abbreviated LAS) is an academic discipline which studies the history and experience of peoples and cultures in the Americas. Definition since the mid-1980s, particularly in archeology. Also, the director of the four-year-old National Sican Museum in Peru, Carlos Elera, completed his doctorate at the University of Calgary, and splits his year between Canada and Peru.
It took Elera, his former professor Scott Raymond, and museum staff five years of negotiating with Peruvian officials to arrange the show--two of which were spent chasing down Lima bureaucrats to sign a form that would allow the collection to leave the country. Peruvians are very sensitive about cultural appropriation; the Sican civilization was shrouded in mystery largely because of the heavy damage grave robbers inflicted on archeological sites over the past 100 years. "This was the first royal tomb of this culture that was intact and excavated," Raymond says. "Being able to find these things in context with others helps us begin to put together the symbolic meanings of the objects, and sort out political and social meanings."
Thirty years of painstaking work at the La Leche site have revealed indications that Sicans flourished between AD700 and 1300, creating a sophisticated political and social system based on agriculture, fishing and trade (their routes spanned 1,000 kilometres up and down the coast of Peru). Gifted potters and metallurgists, the Sicans are credited with bringing the Bronze Age to Peru.
A Sican nobleman was discovered 15 metres underground in one of two tombs that form the Huaca Loro pyramid mound. Four skeletons, two women and a youngster, were also discovered in the tomb--human sacrifices to accompany the regal man on his death journey (the skeletons aren't part of the exhibit).
The museum, located on the University of Calgary campus, has completely revamped its layout to enable a stronger focus on the smaller objects that are part of the show. "It's a different kind of creature," Sharpe says of the incoming exhibition. The entire downstairs of the museum, which had been a standard open-space gallery, was rebuilt to channel people through different areas, reserving the piece de resistance, the gold and emerald mask, for near the end. The museum also hired a movie set builder to recreate a ten-foot-tall, six-foot-wide section of a shaft into the tomb, and a replica of a dig pit for kids' educational programs.
The Ancient Peru Unearthed exhibition runs until mid-January in Calgary, then goes east for the next 16 months, visiting Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum The Royal Ontario Museum, commonly known as the ROM (rhyming with Tom), is a major museum for world culture and natural history in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. , Halifax's Art Gallery of Nova Scotia The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is located in the central downtown region of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Since 1988 it has been housed in the historic Dominion Building, built in 1865, with more facilities located in the newer Provincial Building. and the capital region's Canadian Museum of Civilization The Canadian Museum of Civilization (CMC) is Canada’s national museum of human history and the most-visited museum in the country. It is located in Gatineau, Quebec, directly across the Ottawa River from Canada’s Parliament Buildings. .