Of the thousands of ceramic vessels that have been recovered, at least 500 of them display sexually explicit imagery, typically rendered as free-standing three-dimensional figures on top, or as part of, the vessel.
As well as being works of art, the sex-themed vessels are also functional clay pots, with hollow chambers for holding liquid and a spout, typically in the form of a phallus, for pouring.
However, they may in fact represent the most detailed account of sexual customs ever left by ancient people.
The Moche art style is one of the most representational, non-abstract styles of art in the ancient Andes, and this is most easily seen in their spectacular ceramics, which makes use of fine-line painting, fully modelled clay, naturalistic figures, and stirrup spouts, to represent social activities, war, metalwork, weaving, and sex.
Due to the lack of a written language, little was known about the Moche civilization until the 1980s when archaeologists began uncovering monuments and tombs containing detailed murals, and incredible ceramics that depicted detailed scenes of hunting, fighting, sacrifice, ceremonies, and explicit sexual encounters.