added by archaeologs The major culture of the northern coast of Peru during the Early Intermediate Period. It originated in the Moche and Chicama Valleys and later spread by conquest as far south as the Santa and Nepeña Rivers. The culture developed around the start of the Christian era and lasted until c 700 AD. Dominant during the Early Intermediate Period (c 400 BC-600 AD), it is best known for its irrigation works, its massive adobe temple-platforms, and for its pottery. Especially famous are the modeled vessels and portrait head vases, and the jars, often with stirrup spouts, painted in reddish brown with scenes of religion, war, and everyday life. The pottery sequence has five phases which are identified by the details of the spout formation on the stirrup-necked bottles and it is used for relative dating of the sites (c 300-700 AD). The Moche culture was the major contributor to the subsequent Chimú culture of the north coast. Huge structures at the ceremonial center include a large, terraced, truncated pyramid, Huaca del Sol, and the smaller Huaca de la Luna, on top of which is a series of courtyards and rooms, some with wall paintings. Huaca del Sol was perhaps the largest single construction of the prehistoric Andean region. Grave goods in gold, silver and copper display a fairly advanced metalworking technology. Archaeologists excavated a site called Huaca Rajada and found the elaborate, jewelry-filled tomb of a Moche warrior-priest. Several more burial chambers containing the remains of Moche royalty have been excavated, all dating from about 300 AD, whose finds greatly aided the understanding of Moche society, religion, and culture. Incised lines on lima beans have recently been interpreted as a form of nonverbal communication similar in concept to the quipu. Developing out of Cupisnique, Gallinazo and Salinar, Moche survived into the Middle Horizon but appears ultimately to have been overtaken by the Huari culture. In the last phase (Moche V), the southern part of the Moche territory was abandoned and a new capital established in the north, at Pampa Grande.
added by archaeologs [Mochica]. A culture having widespread influence, centred on the Chicama, Moche and Viru Valley of north-coast Peru during the Early Intermediate Period. Structures at the ceremonial centre at Moche include a large, terraced, truncated pyramid (Huaca del Sol) and the smaller Huaca de la Luna, on top of which is a series of courtyards and rooms, some with wall paint stirrup-spout vessel, quipu. Cupisnique, Gallinazo Sali-nar, Middle Horizon Huari
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983