Ancient Peruvian Ceramics of the North Coast March 11, 1997 The first pottery pieces found in Peru were made somewhere between 1500 and 1000 b.p. The pieces were found in the central Andean region where a religious cult lived. This cult was called ChavÃn, after the best known ceremonial center, ChavÃn de Huántar. The religious center was the home to massive temples that were highly embellished with low relief sculptures of gods, animals, and symbols. The pottery found in the area where vessels that were well made and highly decorated with a similar motif as the temples. But the evolution of Peruvian pottery becomes somewhat confusing and complex after this first civilization of potters. There is a division of people into the North Coast and the South Coast. The split created two styles of pottery, although similar, they never quite merge. I am only going to talk about the north coast traditions. On the North coast there are five cultures that evolve into the dominant Mochica style, which was one of the most vigorous and prosperous cultures of Ancient Peru. The next earliest North Coast style, other than the ChavÃn, started with the Cupisnique people in the Chicama valley. Their ceramics "closely resembled those of highland ChavÃn. They were well made and polished, though somewhat thick walled and heavy. The type of firing used produced a dark semireduced ware that varied from brownish gray to carbon black in color. Decoration consisted of bold, curvilinear human, feline, and birds of pray heads, eye patterns, pelt markings, and other brief symbols of geometric devices."" In the valley to the south of the Cupisnique were the Salinar people who sometime during the fifth century b.p. moved into the north coast of Peru and spread its influence throughout the Cupisnique area. Salinar pottery, "though deceptively primitive in ornamentation, was technologically superior to that of the Cupisnique.