A chapter co-authored by Richard Sutter, chair and professor of anthropology, and Kari Zobler about the Moche Collapse in Peru was published in the edited volume (ed. Ronald Faulseit) Beyond Collapse: Archaeological Perspectives on Resilience, Revitalization, and Reorganization in Complex Societies, published by the Carbondale Center for Archaeological Investigations at Southern Illinois University.
During the environmentally influenced demise of the Moche of Peru (a.d. 200–800), archaeological and biological data provide evidence that Moche communities chose differential responses of resilience, including forging new political alliances, expanding economic production, and adopting new religious practices. At some communities, former Moche elites intermarried and formed political alliances with Cajamarca peoples from the adjacent highlands, while others – such as the nearby inhabitants of Talambo – were able to moderate external highland cultural influence and remained economically independent during a period of political and environmental instability. Such varied responses indicate that the impacts of political collapse on prehistoric peoples were not uniform and often provided new social and political opportunities.