The Moche (Episode 4)
The Moche flourished in a narrow strip between the Pacific Ocean and the Andres mountains of Peru for 650 years (100-750 AD). Sometimes referred to as the 'Greeks of the Andes', the Moche may have founded the first South American state. Their culture was contemporary with the Nazca civilisation but through conquest and expansion they were able to accumulate the wealth and power necessary to become the most important pre-Incan culture. Despite desert conditions, they created a prosperous agricultural civilisation: their engineers building canals up to 32 km long to irrigate the land. Their temples and monuments include enormous pyramid mounds which dominate the landscape to this day. But their society is short-lived and around the 6th century AD, the Moche succumb to a series of disasters that lead to the end of their culture.