The wari footprint on the central coast

Rafael Segura Llanos, Izumi Shimada

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14 Citas (Scopus)


Much of the debate over the last four decades on the nature of and the interaction between the societies of the Central Coast and Wari during the Middle Horizon has been polarized by two positions that could be characterized as the Ayacucho-based hegemonic or imperialist view and the locally based mercantile model. The former sees the Central Coast directly or indirectly dominated by the Wari Empire (e.g., Agurto 1984; Isla and Guerrero 1987; Lumbreras 1969; Menzel 1964, 1968, 1977; Vasquez 1984), while the latter argues that the central coastal polities were commercial states strong enough to interact with their Wari peers without being politically dominated or assimilated (e.g., Shady 1982, 1988, 1989; Torero 1970). In a review of the interpretative models for understanding the Wari expansion, Isbell and McEwan (1991:5) Suggested that discrepancies among them stem largely out of different theoretical commitments, geographical areas of research, and scientific ethnocentrisms of the archaeologists concerned with the topic. In his comment on an article by Shady (1988), Isbell (1988a:106) argued that the Middle Horizon cannot be correctly explained on the basis of either or both of the two aforementioned models and that a range of intermediate possibilities must be considered. While we agree with this assessment, we consider that the lack of new and varied archaeological data in the Central Coast is another key factor that has prevented us from elaborating new alternative models. For example, archaeologists concerned with the local Middle Horizon continue to base many of their hypotheses on the same tombs and ceramics excavated by Max Uhle (1903, 1913, 1998 [1910]) at Ancon, Pachacamac, and sites in the Chancay Valley and around the city of Lima over or nearly a century ago (e.g., Kaulicke 2000). Studies on regional demography, trade networks, craft technology, land use and settlement patterns, and environmental phenomena and their societal impacts remain rare or unrealized (Segura 2007). Only a few bioanthropological studies have been recently completed (e.g., Slovak 2007). While in many cases pertinent evidence has not been found, it is also true that it has not been systematically or appropriately sought. An alternative to this monolithic or mutually exclusive unimodal thinking is a more nuanced, situationally adaptive, multimodal, and multiphase model of interaction that considers a negotiated coexistence or co-option depending on the scale and strength of the local polity involved, missionary activities, trading, or conquest (e.g., Jennings 2006; Shimada 1994). Yet such a model needs new data obtained either opportunistically or through theoretically guided, problem-oriented research. This article presents an example of how data collected under both modalities can be used for formulating a new explanatory hypothesis of the cultural dynamics of the Central Coast during the Middle Horizon. © 2010 by the University of New Mexico Press. All rights reserved.
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EstadoPublicada - 1 dic. 2010
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