The Huari (also spelled as Wari) Empire rose to prominence around 600 AD, during what historians of Peru’s Pre-Columbian civilizations call the Middle Horizon Period (600-1000 AD). The Huari were the cultural heirs of the Tiwanaku of Bolivia, and the Inca consider and revere them as their ancestors. These ancient Peruvians founded a city in the central Andean highlands (also named Huari) which became their capital. From which they governed their colonies that spanned from Pikillacta in the east to the Wiracuchapampa region in the north and finally, to the Moquegua Valley in the south. The fading of the Huari Empire is recorded on the Bible Timeline Poster with World History during 890 AD.
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Historians theorized that in order for the Huari to dominate their neighbors in a such a short period of time, they needed to conquer them through violent means. Scenes that depict warriors clutching trophy heads of captured enemies and migrants were colorfully illustrated on their ceramics, while actual trophy heads were discovered in Huari sites in present-day Peru.
On the other hand, it was also possible that the Huari peacefully established distant trade networks and loosely administered neighboring cities as colonies. Some of the Huari empire’s major settlements were Ayacucho, Lima, Cuzco, and Mantaro. They also built or administered walled settlements in Pikillacta and Cajamarquilla. They constructed massive irrigation projects and terraced the mountainsides for farming until a series of droughts that started in 800 AD brought a hasty end to their empire. The population of the Huari cities had dwindled by 1000 AD until only the walled settlement of Pikillacta remained of the Huari’s great cities. The few remaining Huari people finally abandoned Pikillacta in 1100 AD until they were replaced by the Chimu civilization in the domination of Peru.
Picture by: Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30489
Bulliet, Richard W., Pamela Kyle. Crossley, Daniel R. Headrick, Steven W. Hirsch, L. A. Johnson, and David Northrup. The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2015.
Chacon, Richard J., and David H. Dye, eds. The Taking and Displaying of Human Body Parts as Trophies by Amerindians. New York: Springer, 2007.
Dartmouth College. “Wari, predecessors of the Inca, used restraint to reshape human landscape.” ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131016123036.htm (accessed September 7, 2016).
“The Wari Culture.” The Wari Culture, Tampere Art Museum. Accessed September 07, 2016. http://www.tampere.fi/ekstrat/taidemuseo/arkisto/peru/800/wari_en.htm.
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