Llhuros

50 years ago, an artist convincingly exhibited a fake Iron Age civilization with invented maps, music and artifacts

Trallib (oil container) from the Middle Period of Llhuros, 1971. Photo by Marilyn Rivchin

Invented civilizations are usually thought of as the stuff of sci-fi novels and video games, not museums.

Yet in 1972, the Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art at Cornell University exhibited “The Civilization of Llhuros,” an imaginary Iron Age civilization. Created by Cornell Professor of Art Norman Daly, who died in 2008, the show resembled a real archaeological exhibition with more than 150 objects on display.

With scams, deceptions and lies flourishing in our digital age, an art exhibition that convincingly presents fiction as fact has particular currency.

Extracted from an extended article published by the Llhuros Symposium director, Beauvais Lyons for The Conversation, September 14, 2022.

We’re now looking ahead to the Llhuros (virtual) Symposium 2022. All are invited to attend.