Testimonies of an Autochthonous Illness on the Anthropomorphic Pottery in Ancient Peru

Carla Serarcangeli, Alfredo Pennica


The vases belonging to the Mochica civilization of the Precolombian period in Peru represent images that strongly recall pain and illness. In particular the anthropomorphic vessels show in a very realistic fashion severe facial lesions probably associated with different diseases such as cutaneous Leishmaniasis. The different types of leishmaniasis may, in fact, produce asymptomatic visceral, cutaneous, or muco-cutaneous infections, the latter causing remarkable facial deformities like those represented in the vascular production. 

Key words: Moche - Huacos - Uta 

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