Wari Huamani, Tiwanaku Apu, and the Political Work of Things

Author(s): Patrick Ryan Williams; John Janusek

Year: 2018


In this paper, we focus on the relationships between landscape places viewed as ancestors to Andean communities and things that further political agendas in imperial contexts. We explore how objects and people work together to create or deconstruct political power in Wari and Tiwanaku societies. In particular, we focus on objects, including ceremonial ceramics and lithic monuments, as examples of things that participate in building power relationships with local communities. We argue that distinctive agencies exist within objects in Wari and Tiwanaku contexts, despite the contemporaneity and shared iconography of the Middle Horizon states. Part of this distinction lies in the way in which Wari political power emanates from relationships between sacred places, objects, and humans in divergent ways from the ways Tiwanaku relationships between these entities are constituted. Our work draws on examples of archaeological data from Wari and Tiwanaku provincial centers like Cerro Baul and Khonko Wankane, as well as investigations in the monumental core of Tiwanaku to assess the political work of things in the highland Andes’ first imperial formations between 600 and 1000 CE.

Cite this Record

Wari Huamani, Tiwanaku Apu, and the Political Work of Things. Patrick Ryan Williams, John Janusek. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444176)

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Geographic Keywords
South America: Andes

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20548