The Priestesses of San José de Moro: toward a material approach of personhood in the Moche world.
Author(s): Pauline Clauwaerts
After more than twenty years of investigations, the San José de Moro Archaeological Project has discovered a total of seven funerary chambers pertaining to Late Moche "priestesses" (AD 600-850) in one of the most important ceremonial centres and cemeteries located on the North coast of Peru. This attribution was made by the correlation with different elements present in the tomb referring directly to this character. This "priestess set" works as an efficient identification criterion. However, the image of this emblematic Moche priestess became fixated in the collective unconscious. We argue that this aspect of their identity is not the only one we can identify in the grave. With this paper, we move away from the traditional iconographic assignation. Instead, we look into the plural personhood of these women through an analysis of the material correlates found in the tomb. We explore the material data related, along with the architectural and anthropological data, considering the tomb as a "biographical object". Finally, we aim to highlight the singularities of their dividual personhood and consequently draw a more complete portrait of these singular women.
Cite this Record
The Priestesses of San José de Moro: toward a material approach of personhood in the Moche world.. Pauline Clauwaerts. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405394)
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min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;