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ar has been a significant part of human history. Some may call it a humanist action that comes naturally just as the animalistic instinct to kill prey despite not being hungry. War started by being defined based on racial differences then it had evolved towards being based on religious belief and ended up being the main tool of gaining political and financial power. Humanity may have evolved, but some primitive callings such as war will never leave our blood.

Nevertheless, as primitive as you may call civilizations for always resorting to war as a solution for everything, historians have analyzed one civilization that took a different political approach to avoid such conflicts. The Wari Civilization (also written Huari) is a civilization from Peru which had risen in 600 A.D.

Since 2013, archeologists have been on the hunt to find remains and artifacts that would represent and better describe the Wari culture. Around villages in Peru, pots were unearthed that once held a beer that is produced in Peru called chicha with an alcohol content of roughly 5%. This traditional drink that is very similar to beer also went through a similar brewing process.

The Wari, who ruled much of coastal Peru between A.D 600–1000, drank a beer-like beverage known as chicha from these colorful vessels. (Source: Kenneth Garrett/Museo Nacional de Arquelogia Antropologia E Historia Peru)

Artifacts discovered by archeologists representing the Wari culture were a lot of different jugs and drinking cups, which constituted their use by the elite of Wari (those in high political positions). At first, it was thought that they would be used for specific rituals or ceremonial events, but based on other civilizations neighboring the Wari and their traditions, these artifacts were distinctive.

Based on the number of brewery pots that have been found as artifacts, it seemed that the Wari who ruled most of the Peruvian coast used it for something more than just enjoying a refreshing beverage. In 2017, a team of archeologists led by Explorer Justin Jennings working for the Royal Ontario Museum had traveled to Quilcapampa in Peru to find any traces of Wari culture. The site analyzed by archeologists is known to have been a remote wari outpost in southern Peru which was abandoned in the late 800s A.D.

Archaeologists at Quilcapampa found thousands of berry-like fruits from the molle tree, which were processed to make chicha, a fermented alcoholic beverage. (Source: Lisa Milosavljevic/Royal Ontario Museum)

There they have found thousands of berry-like fruits from the molle tree, which were processed to make chicha, a fermented alcoholic beverage. The large quantity of these fruits as well as the large quantities of brewing pots discovered led archeologists to believe that the Wari empire was using beer as a tribute to foster political and economic ties with the neighboring empires.

It was not just political banquets where drunk diplomats would come to a peaceful consensus, but also the incentive of getting other empires drunk and keeping them so to avoid any conflict. The culture presented by the Wari people was very passive and peaceful. It seems that they understood the idea that prosperity can only be reached by unity, but they had to feed the human greed present in their neighbors, so they did with beer.

Archeological artifacts were found representing Wari culture of drinking (Source: Public Domain)

The Wari archaeological complex in Ayacucho has yielded several ceramic pieces which offer an insight into the civilization’s origin. The site is located 25 km northeast of the Ayacucho City in the Andes. You know an empire is alcoholic when you see that the pots in which they kept their brew were of a person holding a cup. These artifacts are very distinctive and unique from other contemporary cultures.

This is quite an interesting concept as beer wasn’t really a rarety, by all means, it had been discovered around 10,000 B.C. and it wasn’t that difficult to brew it. Historians say that it wasn’t necessarily about the tributes made to the neighboring empires, but the diplomatic relations that have been built using this alcoholic drink that made it so special. It can be argued that beer had kept the Wari civilization alive for centuries.

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