Lords of the Ancient Andes
Thames & Hudson, 9780500516560, 304pp.
Publication Date: November 5, 2012
List Price: 60.00*
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An eminent ancestor of the better-known Inca, the Wari ascended to power in the south-central highlands of Peru in about AD 600, underwent a brief period of incandescently explosive growth, and then, by AD 1000, collapsed. Elite arts and the ideologies that informed them were among the Wari's most prominent exports. From their capital, one of the largest archaeological sites in South America, they sent their religion along with elaborate objects and textiles out to highland provincial centers hundreds of miles to the north and south, and down into populous Pacific coastal areas to the west. The arts were crucial to the Wari's political, economic, and religious communications: like other ancient Andean peoples, they did not write. The objects featured here cover the full range of Wari arts: elaborate textiles, which probably were at the core of their value systems; sophisticated ceramics of various styles; exquisite personal ornaments made of gold, silver, shell, or bone and often inlaid with precious materials; carved wood containers; and other works in stone and fiber.