National Geographic : 1990 Jun
a major site, and my life changed abruptly when I went there to direct the salvage excavations. It was like coming home. As a boy I had spent time with a friend of my father's who had a special love for the Moche. I remember going to his house and being fascinated by the artifacts and sketches he made of Moche life and battle scenes. New Tomb of Royal Splendor I carried this fascination with me as a student, but later my academic interests shifted to the beginnings of Peruvian civiliza tion, and I worked on sites related to that period. I was in the process of publishing my data when the grave robbers uncovered the Sipan treasures. So I returned to the Moche. Nearly every day, teachers bring their students from local schools to view the site and get a better understanding of their heritage. The huaqueros would like to pay us a visit too, but policemen with guns stand guard at all times. Thus the Moche exert a con tinuing attraction. I consider myself their prisoner here -their happy prisoner.