Moche deathscapes: performance, politics, and the creation of myth in Huaca La Capilla–San José de Moro (AD 650–740)

Luis A. Muro Ynoñán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines Huaca La Capilla in the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru, as a dynamic locus within a mythologized Moche mortuary landscape. Huaca La Capilla is a Late Moche (AD 650–740) monumental adobe construction located within the elite Moche cemetery of San José de Moro. This huaca was subject to constant architectural renovations and the intricate design of its interior plazas and patios suggests the orchestration of symbolic and collective social gatherings. The striking resemblances between this huaca’s enclosures and those depicted in the Moche iconographic scene of the Burial Theme are intriguing, suggesting that Huaca La Capilla was the locus of body-centered performances that preceded the burial of Moche elite individuals. This study draws on the notion of deathscape, incorporating a multi-scalar approach to the study of landscapes of death and their diverse spatial and material practices. It contributes to broader discussions of how mortuary landscapes and their monuments were involved in the (re)production of myths of ancestrality and particular notions of time, history, and construction of the being that gave political legitimacy to ruling groups in times of crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-263
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Social Archaeology
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Deathscape
  • Huaca La Capilla
  • Moche mythmaking
  • monumental architecture
  • performance
  • San José de Moro

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Moche deathscapes: performance, politics, and the creation of myth in Huaca La Capilla–San José de Moro (AD 650–740)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this