The Wari Art and Architecture of an Ancient Andean Civilization

Video Text: The Wari people inhabited the Andes Mountains in Perú from 500-1000 A.D. Wari art and architecture influenced later Andean cultures such as the Incan and the Lambayeque civilizations. The ruins of this forgotten society can be seen today in Ayacucho, Perú.

The Wari lived along the highlands and coastal areas of Perú on the Western side of South America. The capital city, Wari, was located 11 kilometers Northeast of modern-day Ayacucho, Perú.
Wari Art was composed with many different colors, plants and animals. Although buried with passed loved ones, the art has been exceptionally preserved. At first glance, the weaves follow a predictable geometric pattern. However, to the trained eye, one discovers glaring color changes designed to keep the viewer intrigued.

In a similar vein, Wari pottery consisted of both surmised royalty and animals important to the Andean civilization, most prominently llamas.

The "Staff Deity" was an especially popular subject for beakers (kero) as were warriors with dart throwers, shields, and military tunics.

The artistic style of the Wari people influenced the Lambayeque civilization, an Andean civilization following the Wari by 250 years, and the later the Incas, also located in Peru.

Video Text: Funerary rituals played a large role in Wari society. They constructed elaborate tombs characterized by corbelled doorways, second story construction, and internal niches. Most of the Wari archaeological discoveries took place on these sacred burial grounds.

With some tombs dating 1200 years old, the burial grounds of the Wari are a grave robber’s dream come true. With the remains of royalty and highborn individuals, in addition to elite Wari goods and tools, many of the greatest remnants from the Wari culture can be found in their graves.

Remains of a decorated cup and flask found in the excavation of a royal Wari Tomb.

These gold and silver pieces are ear ornaments worn by high-ranking Wari women, discovered in an untouched royal tomb.

Excavations of the Wari civilization began in the 1940's and continue to this day, as archeologists continue to discover valuable remnants of their culture which lead to an increased understanding of life and art in this influential Andean civilization.

One significant influence of Wari culture was the roads they constructed. The Wari invested heavily in a system of road networks that connected their water sources and military sites. The Incas later built upon this road network and used the roads in building their empire.


Created with images by inyucho - "Ichic Willkawain" • Fæ - "Four - Cornered Hat LACMA M.79.81.5"

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