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Comment: No highlighting in text. Underlining throughout, does not obscure text. Cover and spine are in good shape. Dust jacket included, shows moderate wear. No decals or stickers.
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Moche Art and Visual Culture in Ancient Peru Hardcover – December 16, 2008

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This multidisciplinary study analyzes the visual, linguistic, and cultural significance of the imagery used by the Moche in their ceramics and murals.

About the Author

Margaret A. Jackson is a faculty fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press; First Edition edition (December 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826343651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826343659
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,409,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joseph H. Woodside on February 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
At the center of Margaret Jackson's book is the examination of a large Moche ceramics production facility at Cerro Mayal, Peru, carefully sited to take advantage of sea-land breezes to support firing ceramics. Detected with ground penetrating radar, the site includes kilns, molds, and finished ceramics, associated with fabrication tools, and staging areas. This fascinating complex specialized in producing large quantities of figurines, beads, food services, and pendant images that depict the Priestess or Goddess (pp. 60-2) and others associated with her (pp. 160-1). The Moche operators clearly organized production far beyond the lone artisan level by using specialized techniques and a thoroughgoing decomposition of tasks (p. 50) for manufacturing precise copies of religious imagery to supply a consuming public. This expands on Jackson's earlier report on Cerro Mayal (pp. 159 - 173, Joanne Pillsbury, Moche Art and Archaeology in Ancient Peru (Studies in the History of Art Series)).

From these facts of material production and distribution, the author ventures into several semantic thickets to discuss theoretic approaches that might clarify the systems of symbols and signs embodied by the rich Moche imagery. Jackson examines a handful of analytic techniques for apprehending the codes that express the meanings that members of this alien society molded into devotional objects for their fellow citizens. Alas, she never quite returns to her original path to apply these semantic techniques to thoroughly construe the meanings of the standardized figurines. For example, one chapter discusses the significance of various markings on the outsides of the ceramic molds.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Henry Berry on February 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"The Moche of the North Coast of Peru (ca. A.D. 100-800) provide an excellent example of an ancient American culture that developed an elaborate, systematized pictorial code." Jackson, a fellow associated with Stanford University, uses the latest research, methodological tools, and ideas in pre-Columbian pictography to extensively explore this "example" of the fascinating type of pictorial language. While not going so far as to proffer new or revolutionary perspectives, the book records and pictures a wealth of recent archaeological finds. With this, Jackson also explains and analyzes details of these and relates such details to aspects of the Moche culture. The work is thus a fresh look at this major, highly-developed pre-Columbian South American culture.

The Moche preceded both the Incas of mountainous Peru and the Aztecs of Central America. Jackson's study is so broad and intricate that it implicitly presents a picture of the major native civilizations of Central and South America. The Moche did not exert influence on these later civilizations from conquest or expansion. Rather, the Moche represent one of the earliest highly-developed pictorial languages related to the particular type of native cultures that grew in the southern Americas. That similarities among these cultures, some quite distant from one another and separated by centuries, are not explained by conquest or expansion or migration opens up intriguing questions about roots, attributes, circumstances, and histories of the different civilizations.

The archaeological finds are mostly ceramics. The author concentrates on these while at times referring to other artifacts.
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