Moche: Masters of death


Since the dawn of humanity, cultures have attempted to ward off death and ensure the continuation of life. The Moche people conceived of death as a sea voyage whose success depended on the objects and symbols that accompanied the deceased. Therefore in the tombs of their dead they placed molded ceramic vessels or ones painted with images alluding to the human and animal power to cause death and obtain nourishment from it, similar to the power wielded by warriors, big cats and birds of prey when they inflict death upon their enemies and prisoners. The most powerful among the deceased were also buried with metal masks, ear ornaments and other objects of value that proclaimed their power while living and would help them on their journey to the afterlife. The ceramic vessels and metal objects were manufactured in State-controlled workshops, evidence that the Moche authorities not only maintained control over people’s lives but also over their deaths and passage to the afterlife.

Related cultures:

Related cultures:


Botella asa estribo: Guerrero con prisionero

Materials: Ceramic

Intermedio Temprano 100 - 800 dC

Measures: 203 mm de alto x 171 mm de largo x 164 mm de ancho

Part Code: MCHAP 1146

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