Date: 9th–4th century B.C.

Geography: Ecuador

Culture: Chorrera

Medium: Ceramic

Dimensions: H. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm)

Classification: Ceramics-Containers

Credit Line: Gift of Timothy, Peter, and Jonathan Zorach, 1991

Accession Number: 1991.436.2


Chorrera ceramics are distinguished by a variety of pleasing imaginative forms and well-finished surfaces. They come from over a wide geographic area, from the semi-arid Manabí Province to the humid Santa Elena Peninsula. The actual site of Chorrera, after which archaeologists named the cultural development, is located in the Babahojo River Valley northeast of Guayaquil in the Los Ríos Province.

This shallow, round-bottomed bowl has an elongated shape; the elegantly curved walls, beveled along the top, rise gently to a point in the center of the long sides, while the short sides are slightly concave. Inside, on the short sides, a small modeled animal, probably a monkey, clings to the rim. Its three-dimensional, rounded head is thrown back; two frightened, wide-open eyes stare at the viewer. The animal's arms and legs and its long, curled tail are worked in relief. The bowl is surfaced with red slip and burnished to a gloss. Incised geometric designs embellish the inner surface of the dish.