Analysis of the famous Moche head "cabeza de Mono Dorada

Roberto Cesareo, D. Angel Bustamante

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


On December 8, 2011, a famous Moche monkey head on gold was returned from USA to the government of Peru, because illegally exported many years before. Since 2012 the monkey head was kept at the Ministry of Culture, which is located in the same building as the National Museum in Lima, waiting for final destination. The small monkey head size is approximately 4.5 cm high and 7 cm diameter. It weighs 49 g. On February 2018 the artefact was non-destructively analyzed using a portable device for energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence. The analyses showed that the monkey head is homogeneous, with following mean composition: Au = (77.5 ±2)%, Ag= (19 ±1.5)%, Cu = (3.5 ±1)%. This composition is consistent with the hypothesis that the artefact is of Moche origin.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012103
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - 28 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event2021 IEEE International Conference on Metrology for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, MetroArchaeo 2021 - Milan, Italy
Duration: 20 Oct 202122 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

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© Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.


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