Sicán means “house” or “temple of the moon” in an extinct local language. Some scholars call the culture Lambayeque, after the broader Lambayeque River region in which it developed. The Sicán culture is best known for the extraordinary metalwork that it produced during the period A.D. 900-1100.
Sicán metalsmiths, like those of the earlier Moche culture in the same area, were masters in working sheet metal. Although the process is relatively simple, it required great manual skill and a sound knowledge of the behavior of the metal. Metalsmiths used a stone anvil and hammer, laboriously beating metal to the desired shape and thinness. To prevent the metal from cracking as it became brittle from hammering, periodically reheating it and quenching it in water.
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