The archaeological site of Pañamarca was once a vibrant center of religious performance and artistic practice within the ancient Moche world. During the seventh and eighth centuries CE, architects and mural painters created lofty temples and broad-walled plazas that were brilliantly arrayed with images of mythological heroes, monstrous creatures, winged warriors in combat, ritual processions, and sacrificial offerings.
This richly illustrated volume offers a nuanced account of the modern history of exploration, archaeology, and image making at Pañamarca; it also offers detailed documentation of the new fieldwork carried out by the authors at the site. That fieldwork led to the discoveries of 1,200-year-old mural paintings, presented here in detail for the first time. Created in a cultural context a thousand years before the use of written scripts, the art and architecture of Pañamarca cannot be studied via ancient histories or commentaries, but only through layers of physical evidence from archaeological excavations and documentation. This volume will serve as a definitive reference work on mural painting at Pañamarca, as well as a new primary resource for Pre-Columbian studies and for studies in global ancient art, architecture, and archaeology more broadly.