Welcome Guest!

Wari, Predecessors of the Inca, Used Restraint to Reshape Human Landscape

Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Wari, a complex civilization that preceded the Inca empire in pre-Columbia America, didn't rule solely by pillage, plunder and iron-fisted bureaucracy, a Dartmouth study finds. Instead, they started out by creating loosely administered colonies to expand trade, provide land for settlers and tap natural resources across much of the central Andes.

The results, which appear in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, shed new light on how early states evolved into empires in the region that became the Inca imperial heartland.

The study is the first large-scale look at the settlement patterns and power of the Wari civilization, which flourished from about AD 600-1000 in the Andean highlands, well before the Inca empire's 15th century rise. Relatively little is known about the Wari -- there are no historical documents and archaeologists are still debating their power and statecraft. Many scholars think the Wari established strong centralized control -- economic, political, cultural and military -- like their Inca successors to govern the majority of the far-flung populations living across the central Andes. But the Dartmouth study suggests that while the Wari had significant administrative power, they did not successfully transition most colonies into directly ruled provinces.

"The identification of limited Wari state power encourages a focus on colonization practices rather than an interpretation of strong provincial rule," says Professor Alan Covey, the study's lead author. "A 'colonization first' interpretation of early Wari expansion encourages the reconsideration of motivations for expansion, shifting from military conquest and economic exploitation of subject populations to issues such as demographic relief and strategic expansion of trade routes or natural resource access."

The results are based on a systematic inventory of archaeological surveys covering nearly 1,000 square miles and GIS analysis of more than 3,000 archaeological sites in and around Peru's Cusco Valley. The data indicate Wari power did not emanate continuously outward from Pikillacta, a key administrative center whose construction required a huge investment. Instead, the locations of Wari ceramics indicate a more uneven, indirect and limited influence even at the height of their power than traditional interpretations from excavations at Wari sites.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Dartmouth College, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.


 

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

News

Aug 26, 2013

Prehistoric Meteorite ‘Shrines’ in Arizona

Two twelfth-century settlements a hundred kilometers apart in Arizona were apparently built by discrete cultures, but they… More
Oct 03, 2012

Tomb of Ancient Mayan Queen Discovered in Guatemala

Archaeologists in Guatemala have discovered the tomb of Lady K’abel, a seventh-century Maya Holy Snake Lord considered one… More
Mar 23, 2014

The Remarkable Coin Cache

My wife and I were heading to Southern Utah for a teaching conference. It was June 4th and school had just let out for the… More
Mar 07, 2014

Shamanic figurine guarding shaft tomb discovered in Colima

A shaft tomb containing skeletal remains along with a rich assemblage of grave goods, has been discovered in a later… More
Feb 11, 2014

Filmmakers search for Montezuma's treasure in Kanab pond

KANAB, Kane County – For 100 years, locals have believed Montezuma’s treasure lies at the end of a tunnel below Three Lakes… More

Museum

Apr 09, 2014

Creek Wind Clan Gorget

This gorget is an ancient symbol worn by the members of the Creek Wind Clan More
Apr 09, 2014

Boundary Stone. Babylonian Empire. 600 B.C.

Boundary Stone. Babylonian Empire. 600 B.C. More
Apr 09, 2014

Mayan Art from the Temple of Tikal

This amazing piece of ancient art once decorated the Mayan Temple at Tikal. It shows a man in a boat escaping from a land… More
Jun 28, 2013

Wari Gold and Silver Ear Ornaments

A pair of gold-and-silver ear ornaments that archaeologists believe a high-ranking Wari woman wore to her grave, the… More
Jan 20, 2010

Bronze Votive Plaque

Bronze Votive plaque dating 3rd C. AD (al Baleed Museum Salalah) was found during archaeological excavations of Khor Rori /… More
Nov 12, 2010

Tablet illustrating Pythagoras' Theorem and the square root of 2

Old Babylonian Period (19th-17th century BCE), southern Mesopotamia? This famous tablet, one of few to consist entirely of a… More