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SUPERB SET OF FOUR ANCIENT COPPER SURGICAL KNIVES (TUMI) FROM PRE-COLUMBIAN SOUTH AMERICA ONE WITH ANTHROPOMORPHIC DESIGN

South America

100 A.D. - 1100 A.D.

This is a spectacular set of FOUR ancient copper surgical knives called TUMI from the ancient Pre-Columbian Indians of South America, most likely from the Moche or Lambayeque Cultures, judging from the shape and advanced mineral patina and encrustations on one of the knives.  Knives like these were used in both ancient surgery such as skull trepanation where an opening was cut in the skull of a living person as a form of medical treatment.  There is one that has repair but is a very rare one with an anthropomorphic bird design and suspension loop at the top.  The purpose of this kind of tumi is still a mystery because the ends are always blunt like a hammer.  Perhaps the crescent blade knives were used to make the cranium cuts and the blunt one was used to knock the cut portion of the skull free from the skull when all cuts were made.  Tumi of this type were also used in ritual sacrifices.  Many ancient human skulls have been noted in science from this region whereby surgical cuts were made with tumi knives and in many instances, the patient lived and the wound healed.  It is unknown why such practices were performed. 

Both of these specimens are in superb preservation and classic examples of this unique ancient surgical and sacrificial knife type, unique to this region of the ancient world.  Each has heavy copper mineral encrustation with vivid and heavy colors and deposits.  These deposits also include patches of original cloth fibers on the surface.  This set is not only an exquisite example for any Pre-Columbian weapon or artifact collection but would also make a most memorable gift for any physician or someone in the medical field who appreciates ancient history.  The frame they are in is custom made and designed to hang these on a wall or be left on a shelf.

All examples are INTACT with the exception of the one fancy specimen having the repaired crack below the pendant bail.  No active bronze disease Bronze disease can be a problem in bronze artifacts and untreated, it can literally eat away an artifact over a short time of a matter of years and turn the piece to powder. 

WARNING:  There is an ALARMING number of fake ancient bronze and iron artifacts on the market.  As fine quality intact, original specimens become more scarce and techniques have become more sophisticated to fake these artifacts.  We have personally handled numerous extremely well-done fakes with extremely convincing patinas.  The degree to which the fakers have been able to replicate patina to disguise their work requires an expert examination by highly experienced individuals.  Like all rare collectibles, fakes plague the market.  Deal only with sources that are extremely knowledgeable in forgeries or altered pieces and get a written guarantee of authenticity that has no conditions or expiration period.  Paleo Direct includes this guarantee in writing with every item we sell.  All purchases should include from the dealer a written guarantee of authenticity with unconditional and lifetime return policies regarding such guarantee. 

A SUPERB COLLECTION OF THE MAJOR TYPES OF SURGICAL CEREMONIAL TUMI USED IN THIS ENIGMATIC AND MYSTERIOUS ANCIENT CULTURE

6.5", 6" and two at 4.25" in length each

SOLD     PC029     INCLUDES CUSTOM WOOD AND GLASS FRAME     Actual Item - One Only

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PRE-COLUMBIAN INDIAN WEAPONS AND ARTIFACTS FOR SALE

References:

Bourget, Steve: Sex, Death, and Sacrifice in Moche Religion and Visual Culture, Austin, University of Texas Press, 2006

Bourget, Steve, Kimberly L. Jones : The Art and Archaeology of the Moche: An Ancient Andean Society of the Peruvian North Coast (Editor)

Froeschner, E.H., Two examples of ancient skull surgery. Journal of Neurosurgery 76:550-552, 1992.

Popson, Colleen., Grim Rites of the Moche, Archaeology - Volume 55 Number 2, March/April, 2002

 

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