City of Mesa, AZ

North Coast of Peru

The earliest ceramics in the Americas occur along the coasts of Columbia and Ecuador dating to about 3500-3000 BC.  Later, some of the most striking ceramic traditions developed in Peru. 

In the highlands and adjacent areas, Chavín culture, with distinctive architecture, sculpture and ceramics, flourished 900-200 BC.  Along river drainages on the north coast of Peru, regional cultures developed towards the end of Chavín, such as Salinar and Virú 500-300 BC. 

Moche, 100 BC-AD 700 was one of the most distinctive of the cultures on the north coast of Peru, with highly creative ceramic arts.  Moche potters sculpted and painted a great variety of realistic images of people and animals engaged in diverse activities. 

After a period of unification under the Huari Empire, regional states developed on the north coast of Peru, such as the Chimú, AD 900-1430, notable for mold made stirrup spout vessels smudge fired to create black textured surfaces. 

The Inca Empire, AD 1430-1532, with its capital at Cuzco, unified Peru briefly before the arrival of Europeans.  The Inca state governed 5,000 kilometres of coastline from Ecuador to Chile, and adjacent parts of Argentina and Bolivia.

c. 500-300 BC
Frog effigy with vestiges of cream slip.



imageEarly Moche I or II
400 BC-AD 200
Crustacean (lobster) stirrup jar with red and cream slip decoration.


Middle Moche
AD 200-500
Red and buff stirrup jar, with human figure wearing headdress and earplugs.


Early or Middle Chimú
AD 900-1200
Figure of a bat, blackware double vessel with handle and spout.


Middle Chimú
AD 1000-1300
Blackware stirrup vessel showing a starving dog holding his tongue.


Late Chimú
AD 1300-1470
Blackware mold made stirrup vessel with fret motifs.


Late Chimú
AD 1300-1470
Blackware molded stirrup vessel, showing a pair of animals.


AD 1420-1532
Polychrome jar with strap handles.




Early Cultures of Central Mexico

Classic Maya

North Coast of Peru

53 N. Macdonald
Mesa, AZ 85201

(One block north of Main Street in downtown Mesa. Take US 60 or 202 to Country Club Drive, go to Main Street, and proceed one-half mile east to Macdonald) - View Map



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