The Art and Archaeology of the Moche: An Ancient Andean Society of the Peruvian North Coast

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Renowned for their monumental architecture and rich visual culture, the Moche inhabited the north coast of Peru during the Early Intermediate Period (AD 100-800). Archaeological discoveries over the past century and the dissemination of Moche artifacts to museums around the world have given rise to a widespread and continually increasing fascination with this complex culture, which expressed its beliefs about the human and supernatural worlds through finely crafted ceramic and metal objects of striking realism and visual sophistication.

In this standard-setting work, an international, multidisciplinary team of scholars who are at the forefront of Moche research present a state-of-the-art overview of Moche culture. The contributors address various issues of Moche society, religion, and material culture based on multiple lines of evidence and methodologies, including iconographic studies, archaeological investigations, and forensic analyses. Some of the articles present the results of long-term studies of major issues in Moche iconography, while others focus on more specifically defined topics such as site studies, the influence of El Niño/Southern Oscillation on Moche society, the nature of Moche warfare and sacrifice, and the role of Moche visual culture in decoding social and political frameworks.

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What People Are Saying

Carol Mackey
This collection of essays adds immeasurably to our understanding of this Peruvian north coast culture.
Carol Mackey, Professor Emerita of Archaeology, California State University, Northridge
Carol Mackey
This collection of essays adds immeasurably to our understanding of this Peruvian north coast culture.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292718678
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2008
  • Pages: 291
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Bourget is Curator of the Museum of Ethnography at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.

Kimberly L. Jones received her doctorate in Pre-Columbian Art at the University of Texas at Austin. She is The Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Assistant Curator of the Arts of the Americas at the Dallas Museum of Art.

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Table of Contents

Preface (Steve Bourget)
Introduction (Steve Bourget and Kimberly L. Jones)
Chapter 1. Iconography Meets Archaeology (Elizabeth P. Benson)
Chapter 2. Sacrifices and Ceremonial Calendars in Societies of the Central Andes: A Reconsideration (Anne Marie Hocquenghem)
Chapter 3. Ulluchu: An Elusive Fruit (Donna McClelland)
Chapter 4. Moche Masking Traditions (Christopher B. Donnan)
Chapter 5. Convergent Catastrophe and the Demise of Dos Cabezas: Environmental Change and Regime Change in Ancient Peru (Michael E. Moseley, Christopher B. Donnan, and David K. Keefer)
Chapter 6. Forensic Iconography: The Case of the Moche Giants (Alana Cordy-Collins and Charles F. Merbs)
Chapter 7. Moche Forms for Shaping Sheet Metal (Christopher B. Donnan, David A. Scott, and Todd Bracken)
Chapter 8. Moche Art Style in the Santa Valley: Between being "à la Mode" and Developing a Provincial Identity (Claude Chapdelaine)
Chapter 9. The Priests of the Bicephalus Arc: Tombs and Effigies Found in Huaca de la Luna and Their Relation to Moche Rituals (Santiago Uceda)
Chapter 10. The Moche People: Genetic Perspective on Their Sociopolitical Composition and Organization (Izumi Shimada, Ken-ichi Shinoda, Walter Alva, Steve Bourget, Claude Chapdelaine, and Santiago Uceda)
Chapter 11. Communality and Diversity in Moche Human Sacrifice (John W. Verano)
Chapter 12. Art and Moche Martial Arts (Jeffrey Quilter)
Chapter 13. Moche Textile Production on the Peruvian North Coast: A Contextual Analysis (Jean-François Millaire)
Chapter 14. Spiders and Spider Decapitators in Moche Iconography: Identification from the Contexts of Sipán, Antecedents and Symbolism (Néstor Ignacio Alva Meneses)
Chapter 15. The Third Man: Identity and Rulership in Moche Archaeology and Visual Culture (Steve Bourget)
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