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Thu, 05/19/2022 – 17:37
These thirty-three tunjos comprise an offering found by members of the public in the municipality of Suba, near Bogotá. The ceramic pot that held the pieces was found shattered. Ranging from yellow to nearly red, the variety of colors results from differing proportions of gold and copper in the alloy used to make the tunjos. They depict people, animals, and objects (including a basket, spear thrower, and jaguar pelt), with a predominance of women with babies, babies in cradles, and men richly dressed with ornaments and holding weapons.
The varying levels of craftsmanship suggest that the pieces were not made by a single metalsmith, but perhaps by an apprentice working alongside a master. This is unusual and reveals a sense of urgency to complete the offering, likely made to order for a particular client, purpose, and date. The message that would be conveyed to divine forces by this offering of warriors, women, babies, jaguars and birds remains a mystery.