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Chapter 05 Photo

Chapter 05

The Moche: Sex, Portraits, and Sacrifice

The Moche (A.D. 200–850) rose to power a thousand years before the Inca. Named after the Moche Valley where they first emerged, they eventually spread out across much of Peru’s north coast over a period of several hundred years. The Moche are known for their striking portrait pots as well as their provocative iconography that depicted gruesome warrior sacrifices and erotic motifs.

    Photograph by:
    • Ira Block/National Geographic Creative