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Imperial State of Mind

Until the mid-twentieth century, many incorrectly believed the Wari and the contemporary Tiwanaku were a single culture. We now know there existed two complex societies—the Wari and the Tiwanaku—both of which had imperial aspirations.

"The Wari and to some extent the Tiwanaku introduced the idea of empire to the Andes," says American archaeologist Katharina Schreiber. "That made it easier for the Inca to build theirs, since the people already [understood] the concept." For many years, archaeologists regarded the Tiwanaku as the sole designers of Andean imperialism.

Text Source: Morell, Virginia, and Kenneth Garrett. "Empires Across the Andes." National Geographic Magazine June 2002: 106+. National Geographic Virtual Library.
Photograph by:
  • Milosz Giersz