Adolph Bandelier, a Swiss-American archaeologist, and his wife, Fanny, collected over 7,900 pre-Columbian artifacts during an expedition to Peru and Bolivia in the 1890s. Amongst the objects they collected were ceramic vessels, stone carvings, silver figurines, sewing baskets, and intricately woven textiles made by many cultures, including the Moche (circa 200 B.C. to A.D. 800) and the Inca (circa A.D. 1400 to 1532). Someday these 7,900 objects will be digitally imaged and added to this Web site, but for now, 194 of the objects can be seen in the Hall of South American Peoples.
In addition to the artifacts they collected, the Bandeliers made 116 colorful drawings of the prehistoric ruins they visited during their travels in Peru and Bolivia. The drawings are rendered in pencil, ink, and watercolor on paper, and range in size from 13.6 x 18.2 centimeters (see drawing number Z/64
) to 147 x 178 centimeters (see drawing number Z/165
). The drawings are now over one hundred years-old and are very fragile. Recently, the drawings were digitally imaged for two reasons: to minimize handling, and to share them with the world via this Web site.
Adolf and Fanny Bandelier covered a lot of territory from their home base in Lima, Peru. They traveled 560 kilometers (348 miles) north along the Pacific coast to Chan Chan, which was the center of the Chimu kingdom from circa A.D. 1000 to 1460 (see drawing numbers Z/99-102 and Z/165
). They also explored the Lake Titicaca region, 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) southeast of Lima and 3,840 meters (12,600 feet) above sea level, in the Andean highlands of Bolivia. This was the ceremonial center of Tiahuanaco (also spelled Tiwanaku) which thrived from circa A.D. 500 - 700, and was the highest capital of the ancient world. Many of the ruins the Bandeliers illustrated are on the Island of Titicaca (see drawing numbers Z/118-135
) which is also known as the "Island of the Sun" or Isla del Sol
Acknowledgements: Thank you to volunteer Penny Berliner for her work on the Adolph Bandelier drawings and journals.