Double-spout strap-handle vessel depicting a falcon

500–400 B.C.E.

Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art

The deserts of Peru’s Paracas peninsula, whose name means “sand falling like rain,” have preserved fragile objects deposited in cemeteries there some two thousand years ago. In the late 1920s, Peruvian archaeologists recovered more than four hundred textile-wrapped funerary bundles from Paracas excavations, and ceramic vessels attributable to the Paracas culture have been found on the peninsula and in nearby valleys. The best-known Paracas pottery type is an incised vessel enhanced by the application of resin-based paint after firing. This example, with its beautifully preserved paint, is also characteristic in form: a rounded base and two spouts are joined by a flat strap or bridge, which functioned as a handle. The body of a bird spreads gracefully over the hemispheric chamber, while a modeled head forms the base of one spout. The chevron motif below each eye identifies the bird as a falcon, a frequent theme in Paracas art.

Show lessRead more


  • Title: Double-spout strap-handle vessel depicting a falcon
  • Date Created: 500–400 B.C.E.
  • Physical Dimensions: 4 3/8 x 5 1/16 x 5 1/16 in. (11.11 x 12.86 x 12.86 cm) Height: 4 3/8 in. (11.113 cm) Diameter: 5 1/16 in. (12.86 cm) Width (spouts): 3 15/16 in. (10.003 cm)
  • Type: Containers
  • External Link: https://www.dma.org/object/artwork/4205672/
  • Medium: Ceramic and resin-suspended paint
  • period: Early Horizon
  • culture: Paracas
  • Credit Line: Dallas Museum of Art, The Nora and John Wise Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jake L. Hamon, the Eugene McDermott Family, Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, and Mr. and Mrs. John D. Murchison