Archaeological Discoveries from the Peruvian Desert

10 May to 16 September 2018

In the southern Peruvian desert, one of the biggest archaeological mysteries is waiting to be solved: the giant geoglyphs of the Nazca culture of ca. 200 BC – 650 AD.
There has been endless speculation about the meaning of the Nazca Lines. But it was not until recently that archaeological research has provided clues to the worldview and culture of the Nazca.
The exhibition takes visitors on a fascinating journey into the mysterious southern Peru of the Nazca period. It invites them to marvel at rich funerary gifts from vast burial complexes, images of strange flying beings – half human, half animal – on colourful ceramic vessels and the most stunningly beautiful archaeological textile finds. Many of the exhibits have never been shown outside Peru. The geoglyphs, some of which extend over several kilometres on the arid plateau between the towns of Nazca and Palpa, are presented in modern multimedia installations.

The different chapters of the exhibition combine top-quality artistic, culture-historical, and scientific exhibits from all over the world – altogether 400 objects from over 100 lenders. Amongst many others the show includes art works by John Constable, William Turner, Gustave Courbet, Otto Modersohn Joaquin Sorolla, Giovanni Segantini, Germaine Richier, Gerhard Richter, Olafur Eliasson, Leiko Ikemura und Pieter Hugo. Scientific treasures such as the first waterproof rubber shoes by Macintosh, and an original thermometer by Daniel Fahrenheit are also presented in this exhibition. It is our aim to create compelling and affective spheres, which also provide explanations and food for thought.

Diese Ausstellung versucht, die Nasca-Kultur möglichst umfangreich zu präsentieren; ihre Gesellschaft, ihre Geschichte und vor allem ihre Kunst. Die rund 200 Exponate erzählen faszinierende Geschichten über den Alltag der Menschen, die in fruchtbaren Tälern zwischen den Hochanden im Osten und einer dem Pazifik vorgelagerten Wüste lebten. Hier, in einem der trockensten Gebiete unserer Erde, legten sie ihre weltberühmten Bodenzeichnungen an. Nicht minder kunstvoll und raffiniert war die ungeheuer farbenfrohe Bildersprache der Nasca, die auf Keramiken und Textilien überliefert ist.

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Admission tickets

€10/ €6.50 (concessions), Family ticket €16

School groups enjoy free admission to the exhibition on Fridays (booking necessary)
Happy-Hour-Ticket: 7 € (available two hours before the museum closes; individual visitors only, all exhibitions.) Combined ticket for all exhibitions available. <link en visiting opening-timesadmission.html internal link in current>More information


Visitors may take photographs (without flash) in this exhibition. Share them on social media and use the official hashtags.

Literatur zur Ausstellung in der Bibliothek