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05 February 2013 @ 08:27 pm
First time back at SJSU since I graduated.  
This evening I went to a pretty cool lecture on Moche ceramics. It was part of the Art Department's Tuesday Night Lecture Series at SJSU. This is the description, taken from their website:

Juliet Wiersema: Moche Architectural Vessels–Ceramic Diagrams of Sacred Space

The Moche were one of many pre-Columbian cultures to represent their architecture in miniature in ceramic vessels that doubled as functional containers and even as acoustic artifacts. Informationally-specific objects of visual communication, these objects offer us one of the best sources of information on Moche architectural remains. In this evening’s presentation, Dr. Wiersema will examine the ways that architectural space was envisioned and pictorially communicated by the potters of the Moche, transforming an earthenware container into a specific and identifiable architectural space.

It was really interesting to learn more about this branch of Moche ceramics; when I took my South American art class, we only really talked about Moche head/portrait ceramics because we were so short on time.
wendylady1wendylady1 on February 9th, 2013 09:37 am (UTC)
I had to do a Google search for these vessels as I didn't know what they look like - aren't they fabulous !! I love the shapes - so unusual...
Of course, a Google search will bring up all kinds of other stuff too, but I guess you're talking about these :-

 photo MocheArchitecturalvessels02.jpg

 photo MocheArchitecturalvessels01.jpg

 photo MocheArchitecturalvessels03.jpg
Suzik00kaburra on February 9th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
The second image with the little house on top is the specific type that she was talking about- she theorized that the different layers may have represented something like terraces, or possibly an earthen pyramid (since evidence has been found that the Moche built them) and the structure on top was some sort of sacred building. On some of the more complex pieces, the layout of a site can be found, although it isn't recognizable immediately. I wish I had the graphics she had in her presentation - there were some Western-style interpretations of the vessels that really clarified things.

Here are a couple more examples of the vessels she was looking at:

The stepped triangles are thought to be staircases - archaeological remains have been found of similar design.

The amazing thing to me is that all of these vessels were fully functional - and about 10% of them doubled as musical instruments!
wendylady1wendylady1 on February 10th, 2013 05:51 am (UTC)
Thanks for the extra explanation - they are extraordinary !! I love the fact that they are multi-functional - or perhaps they just happen to make a sound when blown into, just like a kettle would...