Tuesday, September 26, 2006



Handycrants: Artesanías

Efforts: Esfuerzos

Yielded: Cedido

Sumptuous: Suntuoso

Upwards: Hacia arriba

Ensuing: Consiguiente

Rubble: Escombros

Looters: Saqueadores

Uncovered: Destapado

Cache: Escondrijo

Facing: Mirando

Carbon-dated: Datado por carbón

Earplugs: Orejeras

Vast: Enorme


Moche political organization became increasingly complex over time. Its political unity was maintained by an elaborate ritual system dominated by a prestigious priestly elite in which the Huaca de la Luna played a fundamental role. Towards the end of Moche phase III the priestly elite based its power on a centralized structure, supported by a group of administrators and warriors that allowed the rulers to control a vast territory.

During Moche phase V the priestly elite lost prestige, and we see the beginnings of a new, more secular power structure separate from the priestly elite.



The Moche civilization had two economic pillars. Their brilliant farming expertise harnessed mountain runoff and fertile soils with large irrigation systems capable of producing substantial grain surpluses and acres of cotton for their fine textiles. The floodplains of the Lambayeque, Moche, and other coastal valleys formed green patchwork quilts of closely packed irrigated fields, nourished by long canals. Thousands of hours of cultivation, ditch digging, and maintenance went into the Moche field systems. However, everything depended on careful sharing of mountain runoff, an annual gift in the hands of the spiritual world.

The second pillar was a bountiful Pacific. Coastal upwelling brought swarms of anchovy to feed, and Moche fisherfolk in their reed boats harvested millions of anchovy throughout the year. They dried whole fish in the sun or ground their catch into nutritious fish meal. Thousands of kilograms of protein-rich fish meal traveled from the coast to amplify the carbohydrate diet of highland farmers far inland. The anchovy, by helping to support a large nonagricultural population, was of vital economic importance to the Moche.



Other pots were painted with scenes of both ceremonial and everyday life. From these pots, archaeologists know that Moche society was very class conscious. Facets of Moche life illustrated on the pots include surgical procedures such as amputation and setting of broken limbs. Sex is realistically shown: one room in the Rafael Herrera Museum in Lima is entirely devoted to (mainly Moche) erotic pots depicting most sexual practices, some rather imaginative.



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