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Dorothy Menzel y el estudio del estado Wari

Faculty Advisor




Peruvian archaeology, Dorothy Menzel, Max Uhle, John H. Rowe, Francis A. Riddell, chronology, Middle Horizon, Wari state

Abstract (summary)

Dorothy Menzel had been a researcher who has had profound impact on the study of the Wari state. Menzel’s conviction that art is not only a means to transmit ideas and values of a culture, but also can be deciphered to explain ancient cultural formations, enabled her to gain a broad understanding of the Wari state. Menzel paid special attention to ceramic associations, as well as to changes of pottery designs in order to trace a sequence of chronological significance. From the stylistic sequence she attempted to reconstruct the complex development process of Wari. Menzel divided the Middle Horizon Wari ceramics into four epochs (MH1, MH2, MH3, and MH4). On the basis of secure associations, Menzel also subdivided the first 2 epochs into MH1A and MH1B, and MH2A and MH2B, anticipating at the same time to make similar subdivisions for the epochs 3 and 4 when more associations become available. Once the stylistic sequence was established, Menzel was well positioned to discuss the development of the Wari state and its expansion beyond its Ayacucho Valley heartland. Finally, this approach allowed her to make some suggestions with regards to the decline of Wari that culminated in the eventual abandonment of its capital city. This was certainly a unique an ambitious endeavour since no similar study existed. More importantly, perhaps, is that this stylistic sequence established more than five decades ago continues being used by researchers involved in Wari studies, a testament of the enormous importance of Menzel’s work.

Publication Information

Valdez, L.M. (2018). Dorothy Menzel y el estudio del estado Wari. Nawpa Pacha: Journal of Andean Archaeology, 38(1), 109-134. doi: 10.1080/00776297.2018.1461751


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Article Post-Print




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