Can you help me find more information on this piece?
The Moche is the name of the culture that dominated the North Coast of Peru from ca. 100 –600CE. Like many ancient Andean cultures, their art provides insight into both their everyday lives and religious beliefs.
This vessel shows two deities, the Crab Deity and the Demon Fish, in battle. You'll notice that the demon fish holds a knife in one hand.
The Crab Deity prevails in this fight, and the scene as a whole can be read as a show of order triumphing over chaos, a recurrent theme in Moche narrative paintings.
Was this a drinking vessel?
The shape of the vessel is a stirrup-spout, and there are debates as to how it was used. Some say they were used to carry liquid, like "chicha" (corn beer).
Other scholars have suggested that the vessel may have been used exclusively for ritual purposes or for burials.
Research is ongoing, and because the Moche left no written records behind, most of the theories are based on data from archaeological excavations at burial and domestic sites.