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Moche Burial Patterns

An investigation into prehispanic social structure

Jean-François Millaire


This work is an archaeological investigation of the Moche culture of northern Peru (ca. AD 100-800). It is a study of Moche burial patterns and social structure. One of the main objectives of this research was to bring together information available on Moche burials from different settlements and from contexts dating to the Early, Middle, and Late Moche periods as well as the Transitional period. General patterns regarding burial context and energy expenditure are identified. The nature of social status is explored and some general princAles of social structure are detailed. Issues regarding funerary rites of passage, delayed burial, grave re-entry, and funerary specialists are also discussed with regard to Moche representation of death.