Ancient Burial Patterns of the Moche Valley, Peru

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Archaeologists working in the Moche Valley of Peru have uncovered a number of tombs representing various cultures that flourished there prior to European contact. This book provides a full description of 103 such burials, spanning a period of more than 3,500 years. Each burial is documented with an accurate illustration of every artifact found, as well as details on the location, matrix, and construction of the graves, the individuals in the graves, and the placement of all the associated goods. This information constitutes an important resource for solving problems of ceramic chronology and style change. Age and sex data given for the burials will also enable scholars to establish status differences that existed in the pre-Columbian past. Finally, the authors have compared their sample with all the north coast burials previously reported, showing how their findings may be used to ascertain similarities and differences throughout the highland Andean region. Ancient Burial Patterns of the Moche Valley, Peru is the first diachronic study of burial practices for any Andean region. It not only demonstrates changes in funerary practices in the area but also provides insight into the nature of local cultural development. It will be useful to specialists in Andean and New World archaeology as well as to collectors of pre-Columbian art.