The primary research objective of this multi-phase project is to understand the role of food in the development and organization of the Moche in particular and complex societies in general. Did various Moche social groups–elites, commoners, craftsmen, laborers, and rulers–have a distinct cuisine that were defined by certain ingredients and special methods of preparation? Who prepared the food for various groups? To what degree was feasting an integral part of food distribution? Was food storage centralized at the administrative centers or was it dispersed among households? What foods were consumed in ritual versus household contexts?
To address these questions we implemented a long-term project that eventually will excavate habitation areas at a variety of Moche sites. Initial excavations in 1997 at two rural Moche Valley farming villages, Ciudad de Dios and Santa Rosa-Quirihuac, can now be compared to our ongoing explorations at the Moche political and ceremonial center of El Brujo. The El Brujo site complex has received considerable archaeological attention. The Moche, one of the many cultures that occupied El Brujo's 5000 years of prehistory, constructed two massive pyramids adorned with multicolored murals surrounding large plazas and encapsulating high status burials. Smaller pyramids dot the landscape that make up the square kilometer El Brujo Site Complex. Dispersed among the huacas are numerous habitation areas where the Moche people lived and worked. Naturally mummified llamas and desiccated corn, beans, and peanuts in these habitation areas attest to El Brujo's incredible preservation. Since 1997, students from Northern Arizona University have been involved with the Moche Foodways Archeological Project while conducting research and completing graduate research projects.
The Moche Foodways Archaeological Project has been supported
by the National Geographic Society,
the National Science Foundation, the Curtiss T. Brennan and Mary G. Brennan Foundation, InfoMagic, Northern Arizona University, and many private donors.
For information regarding the Moche Foodways Archaeological Project, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2000 Moche Foodways Archaeological Project
Last updated 10 October 2000