Cultures Preceding the Moche

Cupisnique bottle, PM 968-14-30/8614
Stone mace head, Salinar, PM 58-51-30/8164

Pottery in northern South America was first made in Ecuador and Colombia, as early as  4000 b.c. North coast Peruvians adopted ceramic technology around 2000 b.c. Both the Cupisnique and Salinar cultures were in the territory of the later Moche. The Gallinazo were concentrated in the Virú Valley and may have been conquered by or incorporated into a Moche state. The Cupisnique culture preceded and may have overlapped Chavín, and the elegant, highly polished and incised bottle (1) is typical of that earlier style. The stone mace head (2) of the later Salinar culture may have been an actual weapon used by a high-ranking warrior.