Episode 737 The Moche of Ancient Peru Word Power
Danny

Welcome to a New Word Power episode from English Plus Podcast. This is your host, Danny, and today we're going to dive into ancient history and we will talk about the Moche of ancient Peru. So if you're interested, let's dive right in. But of course, because this is a word power episode, we're going to talk about 10 new words in context, and that is also interesting. So let me tell you about the 10 words we're going to talk about in today's episode, and then we will dive right into our story about the Moche of ancient Peru. The 10 words we're going to talk about in today's episode are meticulous, wrought, grandiose, florescent, arid, truncate, iconography, sublime, sporadic and deluge. So are you interested yet? I hope you are, because that's what we're gonna talk about. But first, let's start talking about the Moche of ancient Peru that's coming next. Don't go anywhere.

On a banner meticulously wrought tiny gold human figures wear bracelets of minuscule turquoise beads, gilded copper, chest pieces, and nose ornaments made of sheet gold. Seabirds, crayfish, land snails, and spiders march across mosaics of gold and semi-precious stones and shells. These are but a few examples of the grandiose treasure buried nearly 2000 years ago by the Moche.

A pre-Incan people who inhabited 250 miles of Peru's coast. The Moche never developed a written language. They told their story in finely crafted precious metals and exceptional pottery. During the first century A.D., When the Roman Empire was approaching its height, the Moche were creating one of the most remarkable civilizations of the ancient world. To sustain this fluorescent culture, they needed a diverse, thriving, and well organized economy. They used rivers to create a network of irrigation canals that watered thousands of acres in arid coastal valleys, producing crops of corn, beans, avocados, squash, chili, peppers, and peanuts. They domesticated ducks, llamas, and Guinea pigs, and harvested fish, shrimp, and crabs from the ocean.

The Moche excelled not only in art, but also in technology. They built truncated pyramids that rose up to 135 feet and sprawled over 10 acres. They were the first people in South America to produce pottery from molds, making a wide range of ceramics available to all. Centuries before the invention of electro-plating, Moche Metalsmiths devised a method that bound thin layers of gold and silver to copper.

They perfected stamps to decorate pots and vessels with elaborate iconography that portrayed scenes from daily life. Moche sculptors were sublimely talented at rendering subtle facial features. Although later civilizations in the area produced impressive ceramics and metals, they never achieved the artistic genius of the Moche. By 800 AD, Moche civilization had disappeared.

Earthquakes and relentless droughts may have undermined the economic foundation of the civilization, but there were probably other forces at work as well. The art had lost many of the characteristics of the glory days. The artists even made mistakes showing people in inappropriate costume. By the time the Spaniards arrived in the early 16th century, sporadic deluges from the destructive weather of El Nino had over the years eroded the mud brick pyramids and palaces. Exactly what or who brought an end to the majesty of the Moche remains as much a mystery as the fall of their contemporaries, the Maya. Not even the Moche's gold, silver, and ceramic creations can divulge that secret.

So that was our story about the Moche of ancient Peru. I hope you like the story. I hope you learned something new, because that's what word power is all about. That's what English Plus is all about. Never stop learning, not only English, but also about other things, cultural things, scientific things, history, everything. Because all of that is important, but of course, because we are English plus, English comes first. So we're going to talk about 10 new words in context, in the context of this great story about the Moche of ancient Peru.

Let me remind you again. We're going to talk about meticulous, wrought, grandiose, florescent, arid, truncate, iconography, sublime, sporadic, and deluge.. That's coming next, so don't go anywhere. We will start with the very first word, meticulous. I'll be right back.

So our very first word is meticulous. M E T I C U L O U S. Meticulous. Let's remember how we used that in context. We said on a banner meticulously wrought tiny gold human figures wear bracelets of minuscule turquoise beads, gilded copper, chest pieces, and nose ornaments made of sheet gold. So what are we talking about here?

What if we want to replace this word meticulously, which word or words do you think could best replace meticulously in this context? Could we replace meticulously with carefully and precisely? Intellectually? Overwhelmingly? Or foolishly? Which one do you think is the right answer? Take some time. Think about it, and I'll be right back.

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