This graceful amphora represents the most
characteristic shape of Inca pottery. Such vessels,
created near the city of Cuzco, were used to hold
the pay rations of the army and the civil service.
The stylized jaguar head that adorns the body
supported the rope that was used to porter the
jar on the high roads of the Inca empire. This
particular vessel was most likely buried as a
tomb offering for an army officer or civil
administrator at some point just before the
arrival of the Europeans. Simple yet elegant, it
seems today to hold memories of a vanished
culture, of a world on the brink of change.