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PRETTY MOCHE

PERU

PRETTY MOCHE

PRETTY MOCHE

After what I thought was a the luster-lacking Chimu experuence in Chan Chan, Gina proposed to go visit the remnants of the Moche culture and I proposed we stay in bed in all day…

Suprisingly, the taxi ride only took 45 minutes and there we were, once again again surrounded by mounds of dirt with poetic names, the Temples of The Sun and Moon. It did not look good from the outside, again a reflection of the choices that have to be made in Peru in order to preserve the present over the past, an argument hard to contend with.

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But going in was a different story. Literally digging into the restauration effort since 1991 and having only run out of money recently, this site had the time, and some means, to uncover a beautiful culture which flourished between 1 CE and 800 CE alongside that of the Nazca civilization (the people with the desert lines.)

Their leveled pyramid, still quite under-sand has been excavated on the inside to reveal extraordinary use of color, which amazingly the archeologists found as you see here!

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Once again, as with the seemingly illiterate Chimus, the writings of the Moche have not survived but the artwork shows us another complex society in which the connections between the seen and unseen worlds are made as part of daily behavior, part of a belief system not so obviously categorized as religious, more like the mere facts of life. What was found is an odd set of icons, carved into single bricks, presumed to perhaps have been used to express emotion about a certain place or person, an… emote-icon, if you will. Oh, Chomes!

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Of course, the Peruvian archeological authorities, even though no longer digging, are still now protecting the site with whatever they can find that is cheap, and using sheets of weaved bamboo sometimes does the trick to shield a particularly sensitive area from the elements, a solution both efficient and beautiful…

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More exquisite walls, sculpted and colored to form the surroundings of a sacrificial altar, probably used to appease the gods and convince them to stop giving them hints already about a digital future they cannot possibly use right now.

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Then, coming down a stairway, picture us surprised to find actual Moches, welcoming us to their temple with great generosity and song, what luck!

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A large room waited further still, a section of a cavernous hall, from where you can see yet another pyramid in the distance, this one completely buried under sand, and which will sadly so for the foreseeable future until someone decides to unlock the cash…

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I am very happy we came to visit the Moches, their culture was rich, fascinating and artful, and they lived before the Chimus! Keep up Chimus! Anyway, we left and got back in time to witness another wonderful sunset on our beach in Huanchaco, so we’re happy…

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