14 color plates, 14 drawings, 56 halftones, 1 maps, 1 charts, 5 tables

Moche Art and Visual Culture in Ancient Peru

By Margaret Jackson



Winner of the 2010 Association for Latin American Art Book Award

Scattered throughout their coastal homelands, the remains of impressive artworks produced by the Moche of northern Peru survive. These works include ceremonial centers extensively decorated with murals, as well as elaborate and sophisticated ceramic vessels, textiles, and metalwork, that serve to visually represent an ancient American culture that developed a complex, systematized pictorial code used to communicate narratives, sets of ideas, and ideological constructs.

In this study, Margaret Jackson analyzes Moche ceremonial architecture and ceramics to propose the workings of a widely understood visual language. Using an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates archaeology and linguistics with art history and studies of visual culture, Jackson looks at the symbolism of Moche art as a form of communication, the social mechanisms that produced it, and how it served to maintain the Moche social fabric.

Contributor Bios
Margaret A. Jackson is a faculty fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University.