Ancient Colombian


Mask with Nose Ornament, c. 500 B.C.E.–1600 C.E., gold alloy, 15.5 x 18 cm, Quimbaya © The Trustees of the British Museum. This spectacular hammered mask with a dangling nose ornament would probably have been placed on top of the face of a funerary bundle – the wrapped body of the deceased—transforming him into an ancestor and semi-divine figure.
For centuries Europeans were dazzled by the idea of a lost city of gold in South America… but did it really exist?

Ancient Colombian goldmaking