1 Comment
Wari Culture

The Wari Culture (700AD-1100AD)

Lima History & Cultures (Part 4)

The Wari, also known as Huari, had their origin in the Ayacucho region. Being presumably the first culture to use military force to conquer the surrounding civilizations, they soon reigned over much of the highlands and coast of modern Peru. The Wari subdued all other cultures forbidding any practice of former traditions. They settled at strategically important points of the empire, at ceremonial and administrative centers and places with natural resources.

Being great organizers, developers, urban planners and constructors, they rebuilt and enlarged numerous old settlements left by earlier civilizations. Wari cities were made up of large rectangular shaped buildings that were laid out in strict grid patterns that more or less resemble most of today's city block structures.

The Wari Administrative Organization

Unfortunately little details are known about the Wari administrative organization. But with their strict social systems and despotic operations they dominated the Peruvian coast, including the whole Lima region. For decades it was believed that the Wari built the city of Cajamarquilla (near today's Huachipa in the district of Ate) on the remains of a settlement from the Maranga culture. Supposedly, under the Wari Cajamarquilla developed into a major commercial, administrative and military center with a population of about 15,000 inhabitants.

However, the few investigations made in Cajamarquilla brought new knowledge about ancient cultures and about the city itself. Some archaeologists today go as far as claiming that Cajamarquilla wasn't a Wari stronghold after all, in fact it was abandoned at this time. They assume that cultures before and especially after the Wari period like the Ichma left us this impressive site.

The Great Religious Complex of the Wari

But it is proven that next to others sites the Wari adapted and added as well to the great religious complex of Pachacamac. Even if the oldest buildings and temples date back to the Maranga Culture, the city only began to flourish and extended its influence to outer regions during Wari times. The shrine was dedicated to the god Pachacamac, "the Creator of the World". Pachacamac was the most important place for pilgrims in the coastal region at the time and attracted worshippers from all over Peru. And the excavation of four Wari mummies at the Huaca Pucllana in Miraflores shows the dominance of the Wari culture in the Lima region.

Mostly unknown is the fact that the Wari culture not only extended the irrigation systems left by the Chavín and Maranga, but also are believed to were the first using a terraced field technology and to connect their settlements with an extensive road network, leaving a significant legacy to the Incas when these began to expand several centuries later.

Say something here...
characters left
or post as a guest
All comments MUST be in English and will be moderated before publishing.
They will appear below within 24 hours.
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Peru Newsflash

Peru Event Calendar

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Latest Content...

Latest Video

Maria Reiche - Memories

Maria Reiche - Memories

Submitted by: Tintin
05 December 2021

Long Reads...

  • Peruvian Archaeology

    The Mystery of the Nazca Lines in Peru

    In the 1920s, when people first flew across southern Peru, they made an astonishing discovery. Stretching below them,…
  • Peruvian Personalities & Founders

    Francisco Pizarro González (1474-1541)

    Francisco Pizarro, a peasant from Spain, was one of the least well-equipped conquerors in history. However, in the name…
  • Peruvian Archaeology

    The colorful Fabrics and Textiles of Peru

    Europe’s first knowledge of Peruvian textiles was acquired following the Spanish invasion of Peru in 1532, when the…
  • Peruvian Legends, Myths & Tales

    The Jeweled Frog and the Condor

    By a quiet pond, at the side of a cloud-topped mountain in Peru, lived a small green frog and his large green family.…
  • Peru Info

    Peruvian Economy

    The Peruvian economy is an emerging, social market economy highly dependent on foreign trade and classified as an upper…