Ceramics of the North and South Coasts Essay

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Ceramics of the North and South Coasts Ancient Peruvian Ceramics of the North Coast March 11, 1997 The first pottery pieces found in Peru were made somewhere between 1500 and 1000 b.p. The pieces were found in the central Andean region where a religious cult lived. This cult was called Chavín, after the best known ceremonial center, Chavín de Huántar. The religious center was the home to massive temples that were highly embellished with low relief sculptures of gods, animals, and symbols. The pottery found in the area where vessels that were well made and highly decorated with a similar motif as the temples. But the evolution of Peruvian pottery becomes somewhat confusing and complex after this first civilization of potters.

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Three other cultures in north coast valleys contributed their pottery style to the over all Cusisnique style that was evolving into the Mochica style. These people were the Gallinazo, Recuay, and Vicús. The Gallinazo constructed double chamber vessels with whistle spouts and a type of decoration called negative decoration where they painted their simple designs on after the pieces were fired. The Recuay also had double chamber vessels but these had one functioning spout and one sculpted, usually an animal or figure. They also used negative decoration but theirs were much more elaborate designs than the Gallinazo vessels. The Vicús lived in the highlands on the Ecuadorian border. They made very sculptural vessels with a stirrup handle and central spout. Although a hand full of Vicús artifacts have been found, not much is known about these people, but one can see a visible connection between all of these different cultures and the Mochica style that evolved out of them. The Mochica civilization flourished for nearly 1000 years and as time passed slight changes in the style could be seen and are chronologically separated into Mochica I-V. The first two are formative phases with lots of experimentation. The third concentrated on a distinctive art style, which continued through the forth and gradually declined in the fifth. They expressed many aspects of their culture and daily life in their ceramics. Things like
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