Ladies of Castillo de Huarmey: women’s wealth and power during the Wari Empire

Author(s): Patrycja Przadka-Giersz

Year: 2017


In recent decades, Andean archaeology has shown an increasing interest in studying women and the roles they played in ancient society. The spectacular discovery of the imperial mausoleum at Castillo de Huarmey represents the first undisturbed burial context of fifty-eight noblewomen accompanied with six human sacrifices, two tomb guardians and hundreds of precious artifacts, and provides groundbreaking data on female status in Wari Empire. The amount and the richness of the luxury and prestige items, which comprise over one thousand three hundred objects of the most various kinds, provide important data regarding the identity of high-status women and their social and economic role in the Andean world in the past. Supplementary ethnohistorical sources of the wills of indigenous elite women of the early colonial period claim that both female attire and personal grave goods imitated the symbolic image of the queens and princesses of antiquity, who had a very similar role to that of the noble ladies buried in the mausoleum of Castillo de Huarmey.

Cite this Record

Ladies of Castillo de Huarmey: women’s wealth and power during the Wari Empire. Patrycja Przadka-Giersz. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431808)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15973