Alva Meneses, Nestor Ignacio. Spiders and spider decapitators in Moche iconography: identification from the contexts of Sipan, antecedents and symbolism

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information

Author:

Title: Spiders and spider decapitators in Moche iconography: identification from the contexts of Sipan, antecedents and symbolism

Published in: The art and archaeology of the Moche : an ancient Andean society of the Peruvian north coast, edited by Steve Bourget and Kimberly L. Jones

Published By: The art and archaeology of the Moche : an ancient Andean society of the Peruvian north coast, edited by Steve Bourget and Kimberly L. Jones Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008.247-261 p.: ill.

By line: Nestor Ignacio Alva Meneses

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2015.

Culture: Moche (SE55)

Subjects: Fauna (136); Visual arts (5311); Burial practices and funerals (764); Cosmology (772); Ethnozoology (825);

Abstract: The tombs excavated at Sipán in the Lambayeque Valley contained representations of spiders and anthropomorphized spider beings. In this document the iconography of spider representations from Cupisnique through Moche times in the northern and southern Moche regions is traced. It is argued that the spider represented is a north coast orb-weaving spider that has a pattern on its abdomen resembling a human face. The spider was used as a metaphor for rain, ritual sacrifice, duality, and the cycle of life and death, perhaps even symbolizing a center or axis mundi uniting the two realms.

Document Number: 17

Document ID: se55-017

Document Type: Essay

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 261)

Field Date: 1987

Evaluation: Archaeologist-4, 5

Analyst: Sarah Berry; 2013

Coverage Date: 3000-1200 BP (1000 BC-AD 800)

Coverage Place: Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad and Ancash regions (north coast), Peru

LCSH: Moche (Peru)--Antiquities

Cite

Copy and paste a formatted citation or use one of the links below to export the citation to your chosen bibliographic manager.

Export a Citation