Thefirst part of this paper will compare two ancient cultures, the Shang Dynasty China and the Moche of Peru. Initially we will look separately at the following aspects of each culture, physical technology, social technology, art and architecture, economy and social organisation. After which, the second part of this essay will consider any similarities and differences of each culture, and then investigate the factors that may account for both those similarities and differences.
We will begin with Moche of Peru. The Moche period begins with the decline of the Cupisnique period at about the time of Christ, and disappeared about 700 years before the Incas reached the peak of their power (Online i, ii). The Moche did not conquer the Cupisnique; rather, there was a slow transition characterised by a number of developments such as ceramics, textiles and greatly improved metalwork (Online i). The development of architectural skills allowed the construction of huge pyramids and other structures (Online i). And increased leisure time, sparking art and a highly organised religion (Online i).
The Moche were prosperous farmers who raised avocados, corn, peanuts, beans and squash, and some were fishermen who fished for clams and small coastal species (Online i). Along with hunting for deer and seals, the Moche also kept a stockpile of domestic animals like Muscovy Ducks, Guinea Pigs, and Hairless Dogs (Online i). While the Moche of Peru had no written word, they had developed the use of ceramics, and also built structures of clay bricks, stamped with the logo of its maker, and wood from the local Carob Tree (Online i). Although successful for many reasons the most amazing development was their use of irrigation to water the dry coastal plains all the way from the Andes (Online i).
This ancient Peruvian culture has left impressive archaeological sites and some rather outstanding pottery (Online i). At one site in particular a 32 metre high p…