I-16 of San Sabastian, Painting by Christiane Clados
the Wari and Tiwanaku shared similar iconography and religious
practices, they were economically and politically quite
distinct. Ancestors of the Incas: Lost Civilizations of
Tiwanaku, virtuosos of stone masonry, built enormous temple
mounds and palaces. They transformed the windswept altiplano,
or high plain, into a network of groundwater-fed canals
and raised field systems for altitude-tolerant crops such
as potatoes, tubers and quinoa. Herding such animals as
the native Andean llama and alpaca provided both meat and
wool. However, in order to grow temperate crops, such as
corn and coca, two important staples to Tiwanaku ritual
life, they had to extend into the lower valleys toward the
Amazon or the Pacific Ocean.
Throughout their realm, they erected quadrangular complexes
of tall, straight-lined buildings that resembled barrack
complexes with restricted access. From afar, these did not
look like the temple pyramids of the Tiwanaku, but were
imposing urban intrusions on the landscape.
Shoulder Panel Detail, Sun Gate at Tiwanaku, Bolivia
Wari originated on the Central Peruvian Highlands and Tiwanaku
near the shores of Lake Titicaca in what is now Bolivia.
Both used symbols on textiles, rather than ceramics, to
carry their message of religious political control. Their
iconography revolved around a staff-bearing figure, as seen
on the Sun Gate at Tiwanaku. The two states ruled Peru 500-800
Sun Gate God bears appendages with serpent heads radiating
from the central deity’s headdress. The Portal God’s
face has animal heads referred to as “tears”
extending downward from the eyes. He holds a staff in the
right hand and a spear thrower in his left.
and Andean Archaeology
Tiwanaku: Lesson Plan (PDF File)