Emergence of Female Power on the North Coast of Peru: Exploring Priestesses’ Identities and Their Influence within the Funerary Realm in San José de Moro
Author(s): Pauline Clauwaerts
After more than twenty years of investigations, the San José de Moro Archaeological Project has found a total of seven funerary chambers pertaining to the Late Moche "priestesses" (AD 600-850) in one of the most important ceremonial centres and cemeteries located on the North coast of Peru. The sudden appearance of that specific character is echoed in the sacred imagery where the priestess is depicted, as a supernatural women enacting in complex ritual activities with other elite characters. This new imagery introduces an era where powerful women are made visible and contributes to the construction of a normative image of the Moche deity. While the necessary and contingent reasons for their sudden appearance remain unclear, some questions still remain regarding the women who were buried as their personification. This paper fits into the broader issues of the emergence of women power in the Moche society, as we assess how identities are negotiated through the priestesses’ burials by looking at the related data material, along with the architectural and anthropological data. We also propose to measure the influence of the new cult on contemporary mortuary population. By doing so, we aim to bring new light on those peculiar powerful women.
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Emergence of Female Power on the North Coast of Peru: Exploring Priestesses’ Identities and Their Influence within the Funerary Realm in San José de Moro. Pauline Clauwaerts. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444493)
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min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21019