Two of the most common recurring themes on Moche/Mochica culture pottery are depictions of anthropomorphic birds, animals and lima beans. These themes played prominent roles in ceremonies and everyday life. Birds were precious resources in the economy of Andean societies. Merchants traded brilliantly colored parrot and macaw feathers in long-distance networks connecting the Amazonian rainforest, the Cordillera, and the remote Pacific coast, where they decorated garments of rulers and kings. Coastal agriculturalists used guano to enrich their fields. Sailors collected the valuable fertilizer offshore on sacred islands, where they left prestigious offerings. On the coast, domesticated muscovy ducks may have been part of the subsistence. One of the frequently recurring themes in Moche art is the race between human beings with the features of animals, carrying bags with lima beans and sticks in their hands. In this race the runners participated wearing their finest clothing and elaborate headdresses, one of the most characteristic of which was the circular frontal headdress.
As I mentioned in the previous post, we visited Dijon on a Tuesday, the one day of the week when the museums are closed. We wandered through the medieval center of town and came upon the western façade of Notre-Dame de Dijon. As you can see from the picture above, the streets near the church are narrow and there is really no plaza. Before the second half of the 12th century, the site of today's Notre-Dame was occupied by a simple chapel, the chapelle Sainte-Marie, which was outside the city walls. Around 1150, this chapel was rebuilt in the Romanesque style. Then beginning around 1220, the people of Dijon built the Gothic church we see today on this site. It was located in the middle of a popular quarter, so there was a lack of space for the building. All the weight of the framing and the roof rests on pillars rather than flying buttresses, thereby allowing the maximum floor area for the interior. The earliest archaeological finds within the city limits of Dijon date to the Neolithic period. Dijon later became a Roman settlement named Divio, located on the road from Lyon to Paris. The province was home to the Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11th until the late 15th centuries and Dijon was a place of tremendous wealth and power, one of the great European centres of art, learning and science.