The god on the gourd


News Release
Photos of Researchers
Map & Illustration
NIU Home




The god on the gourd has a story to tell.

Scouring a looted, unmarked burial ground on a sandy terrace near the Peruvian coastline last summer, archaeologists retrieved a fragment of a gourd bowl, made by drying and hollowing out the fruit’s shell. A simple image of a god scratched or burned on the gourd may end up rewriting the archaeological textbooks.

“This god on the gourd is telling us about the history of religion in South America,” said Northern Illinois University’s Winifred Creamer, a professor of anthropology and member of the team that made the find. “This discovery pushes back the emergence of the oldest known Andean religion by more than 1,000 years.”

full news release

This site is maintained by the Northern Illinois University Office of Public Affairs © 2003
For more information on the research of Dr. Creamer, contact Tom Parisi at (815) 753-3635 or e-mail