Semester of Graduation

Spring 2020


Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



This thesis examines Moche juvenile burial patterns as documented in the published literature. Reports of cemeteries and other burial excavations were compiled in order to identify the position of children in Moche society as well as ideology surrounding children and childhood. The data collected spans six valleys and fourteen archaeological sites along the north coast of Peru. This investigation revealed 191 juvenile burials dating from A.D. 200 – 850. The variables documented for each burial include site, period, age, sex, burial position, orientation, burial encasing, and description of grave goods, as well as documenting adult individuals buried with juveniles. This analysis demonstrates the Moche did have a concept of childhood and treated children differently than adults in mortuary practices. The juveniles documented in this study were active participants in a complex society and contributed to the economy, religion, and politics. While the conclusions to this thesis are ambiguous, they demonstrate that there is much more to be learned about Moche society by studying juvenile burials.

Committee Chair

Chicoine, David