Photo Diary: Visible storage at the Museo Larco in Lima.

An owl man figure. The museum’s director, Andrés Álvarez Calderón, who led us on an incredible tour of the collection, says that all ancient cultures conveyed the supernatural with hybrid human-bird figures or hybrid human-feline figures — and sometimes both traits at once.

The visible storage rooms contain thousands of pre-Columbian objects. We spent several hours in here just gandering at all of the awesomeness.

A figure of the dead, a symbol of the underworld.


A pot covered in a design of pallares, a type of bean used to transmit messages in the Moche empire. The beans were inscribed with messages; runners carried them from post to post.

A pottery depicting a curandera, or healer.

Pre-Columbian punishments.

A manta ray fisherman. This is still a popular treat on the north coast, where they make super tasty omelettes out of them.

More manta. This was one of the more unusual depictions of the animal.

One of the trippier pieces: a figure draped in Medusa-like heads.

A figure smiles from within a cabinet.

Figures holding figures.

Not sure what this was intended to depict — whether someone who has been injured or has some sort of deformation.

No doubt, this is the pre-Columbian version of SpongeBob Squarepants.

Another depiction of a dead ancestor. Some of these were truly stunning.

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