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Moche

Moche pot in the form of a man's head The Moche were brilliant potters and metalworkers who built up a kingdom of thousands of people. Their civilization lasted from about AD 100 to 800. Because their homeland along the coast of northern Peru was mostly desert, the Moche built a network of irrigation canals, diverting rivers flowing down from the Andes Mountains to water their crops. Moche rulers constructed massive pyramids, called huacas. The largest of them was the Huaca del Sol, which was the biggest manmade structure in Peru before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century.



Warrior-priests were the lords of Moche society. They dressed in elaborate finery and head-dresses, and wore priceless gold...Read More >>Warrior-priests were the lords of Moche society. They dressed in elaborate finery and head-dresses, and wore priceless gold jewellery.

Warriors and traders

Moche rulers were warrior-priests who were extremely rich and powerful. They led their armies out to conquer neighbouring peoples and presided over the sacrifice of prisoners to the gods. The Moche traded with other peoples in Peru. Among these were the Nazca, who lived on the edge of the desert farther south.
 

The Moche made human sacrifices. They may have tortured their victims before sacrificing them in order to draw blood—and may have eaten some parts of them, too.

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