Performing the Moche Feast: Plants, Ritual Practice, and Spectacle in the North Coast of Peru
The site of San José de Moro in the Jequetepeque Valley of the North Coast of Peru is renowned for the discovery of several "Priestess" burials containing women interred with the material accoutrements of the goddess figure from the Moche pantheon. As a burial ground for the Moche elite, San José de Moro presents an excellent case study for ritual performance with burial-related ceremonies taking place concurrently with feasting. In this paper, we discuss the plant evidence for large-scale feast preparations at San José de Moro during the Late Moche period (AD 600-800) where archaeobotanical remains of sacred plants such as the San Pedro cactus (Trichocereus sp.) and coca (Erythroxylum sp.) were recovered alongside substantial quantities of domestic food taxa such as algarrobo (Prosopis pallida), guayaba (Psidium guajava), chile pepper (Capsicum spp.), and maize (Zea mays). This case study is part of a budding research trajectory that shifts plant analysis beyond subsistence reconstruction and into the realm of social negotiation including ritual practice.
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Performing the Moche Feast: Plants, Ritual Practice, and Spectacle in the North Coast of Peru. Katherine Chiou, Luis Jaime Castillo. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430026)
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min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;
Abstract Id(s): 16136