Cultures & Traditions


The regional Moche culture was dominant on the north coast of Peru from the 1st to the 8th century. This culture, known by the name of a river on the north coast of Peru, was the first state in the Andes. At its peak, about 400 CE, the Moche realm occupied an area about 370 miles long and encompassed ten contiguous river valleys. Moche art comprised enormous platform mounds constructed of adobe brick; sophisticated metallurgy in gold, silver, and bronze; and a prolific ceramic tradition that often made use of molds. Although the Moche did not have a written language, the culture is known for building the largest adobe pyramid in the Americas and for creating a distinctive art style.

Adapted from

  • Carol Robbins, "Stirrup-spout vessel with deer-hunting scenes (1969.2.McD)," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection, ed. Suzanne Kotz (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1997), 172.

  • DMA Teaching Packet, 1993.

Related Multimedia

2nd lecture of the Ancient Art of the New World Lecture Series; speaker is from The Smithsonian Institution
Learn about the Moche culture.

Web Resources