Felines and Condors and Serpents, Oh My!: Cataloging Zoomorphic Imagery in Tiwanaku Ceramics

Author(s): Corey Bowen; John Janusek

Year: 2017


A regimented canon of ceramic production emerged at the site of Tiwanaku in the 5th-6th century AD, coinciding with the transformation of the site from a local ritual center to a regional political authority. The highly standardized range of forms and painted imagery it produced presents great potential for an extensive analysis of both complete and fragmented Tiwanaku-style vessels. To date, most analyses of Tiwanaku ceramic vessels have categorically centered on form in order to facilitate quantitative comparisons of archaeological contexts. Our recent studies of ceramic vessels from mortuary contexts in the Tiwanaku heartland, under the aegis of an archaeological project directed by Deborah Blom and Kelly Knudson, have sought to develop iconographic classifications to assist out understanding of Tiwanaku’s material culture. We seek to create a comprehensive catalog of the zoomorphic representations depicted on Tiwanaku vessels. This assemblage will constitute the foundation for a broader analysis of animal imagery as potent symbolic media on Tiwanaku vessels and other materials, such as stone sculptures.

Cite this Record

Felines and Condors and Serpents, Oh My!: Cataloging Zoomorphic Imagery in Tiwanaku Ceramics. Corey Bowen, John Janusek. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430510)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


andes Ceramics tiwanaku

Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17606