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New Wari Mortuary Structures in the Ayacucho Valley, Peru

Lidio M. Valdez, Katrina J. Bettcher and J. Ernesto Valdez
Journal of Anthropological Research
Vol. 58, No. 3 (Autumn, 2002), pp. 389-407
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3631183
Page Count: 19
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
New Wari Mortuary Structures in the Ayacucho Valley, Peru
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Abstract

Recent archaeological salvage excavations in the Ayacucho Valley of the Peruvian Central Highlands resulted in the discovery of two totally new mortuary structure forms for the region and for the Wari culture in particular. The first form consists of two rectangular mortuary chambers, each with a small east-facing entrance and holding the interred remains of several individuals. The second form consists of several cylindrical cists, each containing the remains of a single individual. We describe both mortuary forms and compare them to other known Wari mortuary structures of the region. Since both chambers evidently were accessible, we also discuss their possible implications with regard to ancestor worship, keeping in mind that an important aspect of Inka ayllu organization was the veneration of ancestors' mummified bodies kept in accessible mortuary buildings.

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