Sunday, March 20, 2011

Understanding Wari mortuary practices

The discovery of nine ancient tombs in the Peruvian jungle is being called the most important find since Machu Picchu.

Archaeologists discovered the tombs -- which lie 680 miles southeast of Lima -- in 2010, but the news remained under wraps until Irina Bokova, general director of UNESCO, came to inspect the site.

Around 362 artefacts have already been studied, including a silver breastplate belonging to a noble referred to as the Lord of Wari. A silver mask, gold bracelets, silver-coated walking sticks and feline figurines were also discovered. According to Juan Garcia, the nature of the artefacts suggest close links between the Wari and the Nazca -- a coastal civilisation that dissipated around 750AD.

Nazca culture appears to have been passed on to the Wari, and likewise the Wari to the Incan. Although July 2011 sees the region's most famous ancestors being celebrated when the 100-year anniversary of Machu Picchu's discovery is marked, it seems there may be more to be learned from the Inca's Wari predecessors -- the Wari reigned in the region for a longer period and, if rumours of the city of treasures Paititi existing on the site are realised, then they may finally come to prominence in the history books.

Past Horizons

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