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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, January 13, 2022

If you lived in the Central Andes circa 850 CE, you definitely wanted to party with the Wari.

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...Recent excavations at a remote Wari outpost called Quilcapampa unearthed seeds from the vilca tree that can be used to produce a potent hallucinogenic drug. The authors think the Wari held one big final blowout before the site was abandoned.

"This is, to my knowledge, the first finding of vilca at a Wari site where we can get a glimpse of its use," co-author Matthew Biwer, an archaeobotanist at Dickinson College, told Gizmodo. "Vilca seeds or residue has been found in burial tombs before, but we could only assume how it was used. These findings point to a more nuanced understanding of Wari feasting and politics and how vilca was implicated in these practices."

The Wari empire lasted from around 500 CE to 1100 CE in the central highlands of Peru. There is some debate among scholars as to whether the network of roadways linking various provincial cities constituted a bona fide empire as opposed to a loose economic network. But the Wari's construction of complex, distinctive architecture and the 2013 discovery of an imperial royal tomb lend credence to the Wari's empire status. The culture began to decline around 800 CE, largely due to drought. Many central buildings were blocked up, suggesting people thought they might return if the rains did, and there is archaeological evidence of possible warfare and raiding in the empire's final days as the local infrastructure collapsed and supply chains failed.

Before that, however, the Wari enjoyed a period of relative peace and prosperity, with a capital city (just northeast of today's city of Ayacucho in Peru) that served as the center of the Wari civilization. The use of hallucinogens, particularly a substance derived from the seeds of the vilca tree, was common in the region during the so-called Middle Horizon period, when the Wari empire thrived....


#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-01-13 02:28 PM | Reply

Out archeology Prof in college was on digs at Teotihuacan, and brought back life-size paper scroll copies of their stories from the walls of buildings that we rolled out on the class floor and translated. Cool stuff.

#2 | Posted by Corky at 2022-01-13 08:22 PM | Reply

@#2 ... Cool stuff. ...

Can you share?

#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-01-13 08:41 PM | Reply

there's more recent work on their glyph based writings in a pdf here

www.mesoweb.com

the first couple of Figures show the glyphs and an idea of what was on the scroll copies

#4 | Posted by Corky at 2022-01-13 09:57 PM | Reply

we rolled out on the class floor

Most folks would use a table for their rolling papers, but I digress.

Cool publication + primary source documents.

#5 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2022-01-13 10:05 PM | Reply

We uh did that before class!

#6 | Posted by Corky at 2022-01-13 11:07 PM | Reply

"The authors think the Wari held one big final blowout before the site was abandoned."

So even Woodstock was a sequel.

#7 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2022-01-14 09:59 AM | Reply

Thanks for posting the piece at #4. Taube is a giant in Mesoamerican studies. For a monumentally complex and still not fully understood writing system, check out the Maya via Taube, Michael Coe, et. al. Teotihuacan is a fascinating locale, one which probably saw a helluva lot more Teotihuacan-Maya interaction than we currently realize. As for the Wari, hard partiers.

#8 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2022-01-15 06:24 AM | Reply

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