Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Earth System Science

Committee Chair

Tom Sever

Committee Member

Richard McNider

Committee Member

Burgess Howell


Multispectral imaging--Peru--Chicama River Valley, Remote sensing, Archaeology--Remote sensing, Chicama River Valley (Peru)--Remote sensing


Around 100 A.D. a regional culture emerged on the north coast of Peru in the Moche Valley that lasted for several centuries. Today called the Moche or Mochica, it is considered on of the earliest states to emerge in the valleys of the Andes. The environment the Moche flourished in is one of extremes, from high deserts in the Andes to lush river valleys and an unforgiving coastline that overlooks the pacific Ocean, In this harsh environment the Moche grew and succeeded partly because of their achievement in advanced irrigation technology. How did the ancient Moche adapt to a desert environment in the Chicama Valley and how can high resolution multispectral remote sensing best be used to identify these features? This study aims to determine the extent to which the Mochica used their landscape, testing the effectiveness of different methods applied to high resolution multispectral remote sensing to locate land use features the Moche constructed between 100 and 800 A.D. This will provide a methodology highlighting the powers of remote sensing for archaeology by evaluating different vegetation indices and data transformations to determine the most effective means of identifying features.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.