Sacrificer Scene Bottle

Date: 2nd–5th century

Geography: Peru

Culture: Moche

Medium: Ceramic

Dimensions: H. 7 1/2 in. (19 cm)

Classification: Ceramics-Containers

Credit Line: Bequest of Jane Costello Goldberg, from the Collection of Arnold I. Goldberg, 1986

Accession Number: 1987.394.630


This bottle represents a major Moche deity known as Wrinkle Face in recent literature. He is recognizable by his deep wrinkles, fanged mouth, feline headdress, and snake-headed belt. In this particular image, he also wears a necklace made of circular owl-head beads. Wrinkle Face is often represented in sacrifice scenes, burial ceremonies, and combats with diverse supernatural creatures. Here, he stands on a platform in front of a human figure with severed head lying on its back. The deity holds a tumi ceremonial knife in his left hand, as if he had just performed the sacrifice. In the right hand, he holds an open-mouthed animal head. A series of snake heads is painted around the platform.