Earthenware, bichrome slip
25.5 cm (h.), 15.3 cm (diam.)
Gift of Mr. Lionel Vallée, inv. 2009.90
Archeology and World Cultures
Mochica society was dominated by elites whose power was largely based on a religious ideology and the control of the material symbols associated with it. Bichrome ceramic vessels were one of the preferred mediums for conveying that ideology. They have been found in an area extending over nearly 700 kilometres, from the Piura Valley in the north to the Huarmey Valley in the south. The shape and decoration of stirrup-spout bottles have been used since the 1940s as chronological markers in studying Mochica sites, even though research in the last thirty years has demonstrated there were regional differences. The simplicity of this bottle’s decoration reinforces the impact of its bichrome colouring. Others have three-dimensional moulding or are painted with complex scenes.