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This article is about the historical civilization and city located near present-day Ayacucho. For the Province of the Ancash Region in Peru, see Huari Province
Huari Culture




Middle Horizon
Capital Huari
Language(s) Aymara, others.
Religion Andean beliefs (Viracocha)
Government Unknown
Historical era Pre-Columbian
 - Established 500
 - Disestablished 900
Wari Tunic, Peru, 750-950 AD. This spectacular tunic is made of 120 separate small pieces of cloth, each individually tie-dyed. Ceramics of the period depict high-status men wearing this style of tunic. Textile Museum collections.

The Wari (Spanish: Huari) were a Middle Horizon civilization that flourished in the Andes in the south-central coastal area of modern-day Peru, from about A.D. 500 to 900. The capital city of the same name is located 25 km (16 mi) north-east of the modern city of Ayacucho, Peru. This city was the center of a civilization that covered much of the highlands and coast of modern Peru. Early on, their territory expanded to include the ancient oracle center of Pachacamac, though it seems to have remained largely autonomous. Later it expanded to include much of the territory of the earlier Moche and later Chimu cultures. The best-preserved remnants of the Huari Culture exist near the town of Quinua at the Wari Ruins, and at the recently discovered Northern Wari ruins near the city of Chiclayo. Also well-known are the Wari ruins of Pikillaqta ("Flea Town") a short distance south-east of Cuzco en route to Lake Titicaca.

The Wari are historically important for a number of reasons. They were contemporaries of the Tiwanaku polity to the south and shared certain stylistic traits. There is continued debate concerning the relationship between the two polities and it has been suggested that some of the iconographic similarities may be traced back to the earlier Pukara style (Isbell 1991).

The Wari state established architecturally distinctive administrative centers in many of its provinces—these centres are clearly different from the architecture of Tiwanaku, leading many scholars to stress the political independence of the two polities (Conklin 1991). While little is known about the details of the Wari administrative structure, as they did not leave behind any written records, the emphasis on homogeneous administrative architecture and evidence for significant social stratification suggests a complex socio-political hierarchy.

The Wari development of terraced field technology and investment in a major road network appear to have provided a significant legacy for the Incas when they began to expand several centuries later.

The native language of the Wari area in recent times has been Quechua, though the comparative and historical study of the Andean languages suggests that the language of the Wari culture may have been a form of Aymara. The Wari culture is not to be confused with the modern ethnic group and language known as Wari', with which it has no known link.

The Wari culture began to deteriorate around 800 A.D., with the city of Wari abandoned by 900 A.D.

See also


  • Collier, Simon et al. (Ed.) (1992). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Latin America and the Caribbean (Second Edition ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-41322-2.  

External links



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