Silver male deity statue, Peruvian.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This statue of a long eared figure has a little bump in his left cheek indicating that he is chewing coca. In South America chewing coca leaves ('Erythroxylum coca') is a traditional way of staving off hunger and exhaustion, and the stimulant effect helps to numb pain and fatigue. The Incas also used mind-affecting drugs in medical-religious ceremonies. Dimensions: 114mm x 32mm.