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Ancient Ruins of Tiwanacu and PumaPunku
Tiwanaku (Spanish: Tiahuanaco and Tiahuanacu) is an important Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia, South America.
"The ruins of Tiahuanuco have been regarded by all students of American antiquities as in many respects the most interesting and important, and at the same time most enigmatical, of any on the continent. They have excited the admiration and wonder alike of the earliest and latest travelers, most of whom, vanquished in their attempts to penetrate the mystery of their origin, have been content to assign them an antiquity beyond that of the other monuments of America, and to regard them as the solitary remains of a civilization that disappeared before that of the Incas began, and contemporaneous with that of Egypt and the East.
Unique, yet perfect in type and harmonious in style, they appear to be the work of a people who were thorough masters of an architecture which had no infancy, passed through no period of growth, and of which we find no other examples. Tradition, which mumbles more or less intelligibly of the origin of many other American monuments, is dumb concerning these. The wondering Indians told the first Spaniards that “they existed before the sun shone in the heavens,” that they were raised by giants, or that they were the remains of an impious people whom an angry Deity had converted into stone because they had refused hospitality to his viceregent and messenger. “
Our current ideas of the Tiwanaku culture hold that they had no writing system and also that the invention of the wheel was most likely unknown to them. The architectural achievements seen at Pumapunku are striking in light of the presumed level of technological capability available during its construction. Due to the monumental proportions of the stones, the method by which they were transported to Pumapunku has been a topic of interest since the temple’s discovery.
Puma Punku, truly startles the imagination. It seems to be the remains of a great wharf (for Lake Titicaca long ago lapped upon the shores of Tiahuanaco) and a massive, four-part, now collapsed building. One of the construction blocks from which the pier was fashioned weighs an estimated 440 tons (equal to nearly 600 full-size cars) and several other blocks laying about are between 100 and 150 tons. The quarry for these giant blocks was on the shore of Titicaca, some ten miles away.
1. It is evident beyond a doubt that the inhabitants of Tihuanacu knew animals now extinct, which they reproduced faithfully by stylizing them on their ceramics and other plastic works. This fauna possibly disappeared at the end of the last period of glaciation on the Altiplano, as is shown by the alluvial strata.
5. The fauna and flora changed radically from the epoch of splendor to our time. This can be proven by the remains of marine fauna found at the present time in Lake Titicaca and in the clays of the subsoil of Tihuanacu. (103)
7. The erosion of the blocks of the First Period which are exclusively of red sandstone and of their very primitive sculptures on a calcareous volcanic tufa, show an abrasion extending over thousands of years. This is the case although perhaps also for thousands of years they lay covered by alluvial mud which later, little by little, was washed away by the torrential rains which have for the most part revealed them. Even the blocks of extremely hard andesitic lava of the Second Period, especially those of the east facade of Kalasasaya (Fig. 13), show a considerable wearing away from erosion, particularly the two monolithic blocks at the sides of the perron (Fig. 23), even though they were covered with earth until the year 1903.
9. A southern inclination of the continent of such a sort could occur only as the result of geotectonic factors, caused in turn by the cessation of the effects of a great pressure (ice) on that part made up today of the Altiplano.
10. By analogy it is possible to determine that the last glacial period took place in the Southern Hemisphere at the same time as in the Northern, since there is no atmospheric nor cosmic factor that we have been able to discover, that could have prevented it.
12. One of the proofs with which we can also reinforce our assertion concerning the enormous age of Tihuanacu, is that in the folklore of the Altiplano nothing is related of traditions which allude even remotely to the origin and object of that magnificent metropolis. It is unquestionable that a huge culture like that of Tihuanacu would have left an imperishable recollection in the minds of the men who inhabited this part of the Andes, if it had been evolved in a relatively recent period.
14. SUMMARY: If one wished to collect all of the ideas about the great age of the civilization of Tihuanacu with the attendant bases and proofs, one could fill a whole book. But we feel certain that in the preceding paragraphs we have outlined in a clear and synthetic form, the nature of such proofs, which are: astronomical, anthropological, paleontological, geological, petrographic and sociological.