How the Wari Fashioned Trophy Heads For Display

Valerie A. Andrushko

in The Bioarchaeology of the Human Head

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780813035567
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041766 | DOI:
How the Wari Fashioned Trophy Heads For Display

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This chapter examines a distinctive modified cranium from Cuzco that represents the first Wari trophy head from the southern Peruvian highlands. The Cuzco modified cranium was found in 2006 at the site of Cotocotuyoc in the Huaro Valley, Peru. Osteological analysis of the Cuzco cranium reveals evidence of scalping, defleshing, and brain removal. Following soft-tissue removal, meticulous modifications were made to facilitate display, including drilled holes and metal inserts, and prosthetic teeth were fashioned to decorate the cranium. These modifications are compared with trophy heads from the Wari heartland site of Conchopata, revealing distinct differences between the Wari trophy head from the hinterland and those from the heartland. This comparison yields new information on the range and significance of trophy practices among the Wari and suggests additional avenues for research on Wari trophy skulls.

Keywords: scalping; defleshing; trophy skull; Peru; Wari

Chapter.  7858 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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