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An important Moche Cemetery

Posted by Carmen Maria Guevara Protzel on Feb 16, 2017 4:35:07 PM


In the province of Chepén in La Libertad region, 136 kms. north of the city of Trujillo...

San José de Moro is located, It is a small town that sheltered 1,500 years ago the core of an important ceremonial center and cemetery of the Moche elite.

This complex has provided important information about the burial process of this ancient culture and their ritual world. As far as it has been discovered the burial site consists of various architectural adobe structures , composed of several mounds, many of which exceed 9 meters height. According to the iconographic analysis made by researchers on the ceramics found in the site, it was established in the late stage of the Moche period (VII - IX AD).

The tombs that have been discovered have high depths. Standing out the one that it has been said that was dedicated to the so-called "High Priestess of San Jose de Moro". One of the main attractions of this archaeological site liesSan Jose de Moro - Wikipedia

Pit tomb- The pit tombs at San Jose de Moro are the simplest form of burial. They were long, superficial graves that typically contain one individual with a few burial offerings



San Jose de Moro - Wikipedia

Boot-shaped tomb usually have a 2m deep vertical access shaft that leads to a horizontal vault or chamber where the deceased individuals are placed along with offerings. It was closed by an adobe wall.

Chamber tombs are the most complex type of tomb found at the site and were built in a quadrangular shape with adobe walls and algarrobo beam roofing. The walls of chamber tombs sometimes contain niches or benches along the edges and held more than 1 individual and goods 


In relation to the burial of the "Priestess of Moro", it was found in a Chamber tomb, that reaches 7 mts. of depth. Originally was inside of a coffin of rods , and at the sides metal objects with forms of arms and legs were sewn as well as large funerary mask and sandals. The grave goods that were found in these tombs included fine pieces of pottery, necklaces of various colors, metal artifacts, bones, among others pieces..

Universidad Catolica del Peru does studies in the area and have prepared a web site on their project called San Jose de Moro Archaeological Program.

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Carmen Maria Guevara Protzel

Topics: Trujillo

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