Wari’s Hallowed Ground: Interpreting the Mortuary Complex of Cotocotuyoc, Cuzco, Peru

Author(s): Mary Glowacki

Year: 2018


The Wari settlement of Huaro, located southeast of the Cuzco Valley in the Southern Highlands of Peru, contains a mortuary complex known as Cotocotuyoc. This towering plateau site, which overlooked the entire Huaro Wari settlement, was one of several urban components that made up a more than nine hectare Wari center, occupied for over 500 years. Excavations at Cotocotuyoc generated telling evidence for who built and occupied this settlement and how they were treated upon their deaths and in the afterlife. This presentation examines these data in order to shed light on the individuals interred at Cotocotuyoc and their potential roles as members of the greater Huaro Wari provincial node. Burial style and construction, individual age, sex, and health, and accompanying grave goods are described and discussed. It is argued that Cotocotuyoc served as both an early and late Wari cemetery, and as a place of ancestor worship with ties to the watery underworld and the mountain spirits or apus, as they are known today. Additionally, it is proposed that Cotocotuyoc was considered a hallowed burial ground for both the early founding societal elite and the last of the imperial community from the Valley.

Cite this Record

Wari’s Hallowed Ground: Interpreting the Mortuary Complex of Cotocotuyoc, Cuzco, Peru. Mary Glowacki. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443137)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20981