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THE MOCHE CIVILIZATION
Transcript of THE MOCHE CIVILIZATION
Theocratic-like form of government
Political organization was made up of city-states
Elite priests rise to power through a centralized structure supported by administrators and warriors.
Political authority was fragmented; Individual river valley towns and villages had their own royal and warrior-priesthood figure.
Urban centers exploited rural leaders by giving them prestige goods in return for their political support and control of their land.
Did not spread very far. At it's peak, they only spanned about 20,000 square miles.
There is no record or indication that the Moche people had a written law code to abide by.
Had contact with the Lima and Nieveria people in the Central Coast area of South America, and also communicated and traded with other Highland people, such as the Recuay.
Some Moche iconographic motifs can be traced to Recuay design elements.
THE MOCHE CIVILIZATION
Collapse of the Empire
Located along the northern coast (present day Peru)
Lasting from the 1st-8th century CE, but dominant during the Early Intermediate Period (400 BCE-600CE)
Settlements were spread across the hot and arid coast of northern Peru to more than 215 miles south until the Nepeña River valley.
Distinctive social division that was centered around class, families, jobs, and wealth.
Governing elites, such as priests, had more luxurious material possessions than middle class citizens, such as artisans and the working class.
Men and women may have worked collectively in everyday activities to support their families.
Religious beliefs provided an order among the people in which priests were highly praised and obeyed by the people.
Majority of the people had adobe (mudbrick) homes, but the poorer used quincha (cane and mud) to build their homes.
Houses were arranged specifically to create a division based on class, families, jobs, or wealth.
Often, the homes were centered around public and private ceremonial buildings.
Elites would be adorned with luxurious homes while middle class people had more humble homes.
Archaeologists had recently discovered a tomb of what had appeared to belong to an upper class woman. Extraordinarily, warlike clubs and spear thrower sticks were found buried along with weaving materials and needles, common burial artifacts found in a woman's tomb. This perhaps suggests that this female was a warrior or great leader.
Polytheistic - multiple spirits and deities that the people worshiped and sacrificed for.
Very organized religion because of the amount of leisure time they had.
Evidence of the complexity of their practices and rituals are found in their pottery
The Moche capital of Chan Chan was the
site of two flat-topped pyramids which were very important religious sights:
Huaca del Sol
(Pyramid of the Sun)
Huaca de la Luna
(Pyramid of the Moon)
Walls of the temples are covered with gruesome and horrific creatures, thought to be representations of their deities
The Decapitator spirit, known as Ayapec, was the spirit that dismembered humans.
Harmony is extremely important to the Moche people. Human sacrifice was a ritualistic solution to maintain it.
Political and social structure were strongly centered around myths and superstitious beliefs;
The collapse of the Moche civilization was never indicated, even so, reasons of their demise still remain unknown. However, possible theories include:
Encroachment of sand dunes
Less-tangible social and cultural factors
Ceramic designs were based on mythology, ceremony, and daily life
No indication of a written language created by the Moche.
Philosophy - Centered the religion around the conflicting forces. Shamans channeled the power of the dual forces though meditation and worshiping into the benefit for the community
Incorporation of nature into Moche art shows a distinctive cultural development of nature worship amongst the people
The utilization of water canals that channeled water for agricultural use helped the Moche people grow crops.As a result, numerous urban centers could be supported
Channeled streams flowing down the Andes Mountain into an elaborate system of irrigation canals used to grow crops such as corn and beans.
Excellent ceramic, metallurgy, and weaving techniques,
Being very skilled metalworkers
Created extensive jewelery made from gold and silver as well as pottery, considered the finest in naturalistic sculpture in pre-Columbian Peru
Architecture included shed roofs with pillars or columns for support. Adobe sun-dried mudbricks were commonly utilized to build their homes and facilities
Political elites or warriors were the wealthy while the working class praised and obeyed them.
Jobs included farming, fishing, canal building, and handcrafting items
Trading connections led across the Andes and into the rainforests on the other side.
Villages supported city centers by their production of a large variety of cultivated crops.
The Moche, if they did at all, most likely engaged in commerce by trading the food they grew and the fine jewelery they crafted.
Because of the natural hot and arid climate of the northern coast of Peru, droughts would have put agricultural activities on hiatus, resulting in the Moche people not being able to support their community.
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