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Neighboring Rival

The Tiwanaku controlled an empire in Peru's south-central highlands that extended along the border with Bolivia near the shores of Lake Titicaca, while their fellow imperial neighbor, the Wari, controlled an area in the northern highlands. The Tiwanaku’s influence spread 500 miles south along caravan routes, while the Wari stayed north of the invisible border created between the two Andean empires. Scholars are unsure if the cultures were ever at war or just maintained a strained peace. The Wari are regarded as a more militant empire, while the Tiwanaku are regarded as more mystical and spiritually oriented, though they also exhibited some of the same aggressive behaviors as the Wari.

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