Wari Bats? An Iconographic Analysis of Some Very Curious Zoomorphic Figures on Middle Horizon Andean Pottery
Author(s): Andrea Vazquez De Arthur
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
For ancient civilizations with no form of writing, proper iconographic interpretation is an important tool for accessing the past. This is certainly true of ancient Andean civilizations, especially the Wari who produced some of the most captivating visual imagery of their time. However, Wari depictions of supernatural composite figures are so stylized that correct identification of the sources for their zoomorphic characters is very difficult. All too often, ambiguous figures are identified out of hand as either some type of feline or bird, considerably limiting our perspective on Wari artistic expression. Through careful iconographic analysis, I propose that the bat may have been a very prominent animal in the Wari pantheon. Some of the stranger zoomorphic characters on Wari pottery have so far eluded interpretation, despite being prominently depicted on ceremonial vessels excavated from such prestigious Middle Horizon sites as Conchopata and Pachacamac. Few, if any, references to bat imagery are made in the literature on Wari visual culture, therefore the identification of certain zoomorphic traits as pertaining to bats has the potential to significantly alter how Wari imagery is viewed and interpreted.
Cite this Record
Wari Bats? An Iconographic Analysis of Some Very Curious Zoomorphic Figures on Middle Horizon Andean Pottery. Andrea Vazquez De Arthur. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449574)
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min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;
Abstract Id(s): 25181