University of Rochester

Pre-Columbian Peru to be Celebrated at the University of Rochester

November 28, 2011

Two-Part Symposium Discusses Archaeology, Technology and Architecture

Northern Peru was home to the Moche—one of the most advanced civilizations of the Americas for most of the first millennium. And next month, a two-day symposium at the University brings together leading scholars from Peru to share their research into the innovative architecture and urban planning of the Moche and of other Pre-Columbian civilizations.

The symposium begins 6:30 PM, Thursday, December 1 at the Memorial Art Gallery with "The Moche: Archaeology, Architecture and Society." It continues 3:30 PM, December 2 at the Rush Rhees Library on the River Campus, when the topic will be "Architecture and Urban Development in Pre-Columbian Peru."

The event is a result of a collaboration agreement between the University of Rochester and the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) established within the framework of the Archaeology, Technology, and Historical Structures program at the University.

"The success of the Moche was due to irrigation and agricultural technologies that transformed the deserts around them into oases of exuberant vegetation," said Renato Perucchio, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Rochester. "The Moche civilization also produced highly skilled builders, as attested by several vast religious complexes characterized by gigantic adobe brick temples. The speakers at the symposium will highlight one of the most advanced and intriguing civilizations of the Americas, which flourished along the coastal desert of northern Peru between 100 to 850 A.D."

The University and PUCP have entered into a five-year cooperation agreement for visiting faculty and student exchange. One faculty member from PUCP will visit Rochester each academic year to teach two courses related to the Archaeology, Technology, and Historical Structures program. Both universities will exchange students each semester under a reciprocity plan, which includes each school covering the costs of accommodations and meals for two visiting students per year.