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

Steve Bourget , Kimberly L. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

December 1, 2008 0292718675 978-0292718678

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.

Frequently Bought Together

The Art and Archaeology of the Moche: An Ancient Andean Society of the Peruvian North Coast + The Moche of Ancient Peru: Media and Messages (Peabody Museum Collections Series) + The Worlds of the Moche on the North Coast of Peru (The William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture of the Western Hemisphere)
Price for all three: $135.46

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Editorial Reviews


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)

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 315 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292718675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292718678
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,283,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broad and Deep December 11, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of topflight academic papers from a conference on Moche civilization held at the University of Texas, in 2003. It includes a wealth of thoughtful contributions by all the main international heavyweights in the field. Bibliographies direct you to other sources, including URLs. Profusely illustrated with hundreds of photos and drawings, this is an outstanding contribution to pre-Columbian history. Although most of the graphics are in black and white, they clearly illustrate the authors' points. Some intriguing objects, such the complicated ideographic "murals" in bas relief uncovered at the 'Moon Sanctuary' and the 'Old Cao Sanctuary,' receive short shrift. The few, delicious, color plates are carefully chosen. This collection shows archaeologists mobilizing analytical assistance from other sciences such as osteology, metallurgy, genetics, botany, and zoology to broaden our understanding by tempering their intuitions, derived from the fineline drawings and the architecture, with physical facts of many different orders. One example, from a paper by Donna Mcclelland, concerns the "ulluchu" fruits whose images typically attend scenes of blood sacrifice and warfare. These fruits, whose name originated with Peruvian businessman Rafael Larco Hoyle, seem large in the drawings but are actually quite small, less than three centimeters long. Only a few ulluchu have ever been recovered from Moche sites and identifying them has stumped botanists. In fact, assertions the Swedish ethnologist Gordon Wassen and his co-authors made in the 1980s that classify the ulluchu as a relative of the papaya and that claim it keeps blood from coagulating, as the papain in papaya might, are almost certainly wrong. Read more ›
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