Monday, April 8, 2013

Lake Titicaca Was Once at Sea Level – Part II

Continuing from the last post regarding the fact that Lake Titicaca was once at sea level and continuing with both how and when it was raised to its present 12,500-foot elevation, there are many points about this remarkable lake that bear understanding.
First of all, no one seems to know where the name Titicaca came from, for it is not Andean, though some claim it means Puma Rock, which doesn’t make much sense for the name of a lake, though it is thought that the lake looks like a Puma chasing a rabbit—however, this would not have been understood by ancient cultures without satellite or very high aerial views. Others claim Titicaca is from the Sanskrit and Tamil languages (in Sanskrit, Diti was the wife of the god Kasyapa [sea tortoise]. Titi is the Tamil equivalent. Therefore, Titikagkai=Ditigagga=Titicaca), suggesting an ancient, pre-historic foreign influence.
Second: Though today considered a fresh-water lake, it still has significant salt content, and evidence of its drainage basins suggests it was once completely salt water.
Third: It has salt-water flora and fauna in and around the lake, with millions of fossilized sea shells scattered about its shores. The marine fish and seahorses in the lake are all oceanic types found only in salt water, and skeletons of salt-water, ocean-dwelling fish have been found there.
Fourth: Sixteen miles away, and 100 feet higher in elevation, lies a huge set of wharves and piers within the ruins of an ancient city, devastated by a cataclysmic event. These rock wharves bear tribute to a once flourishing shipping business of significant size, with several of the docks and piers so large that hundreds of ships could dock comfortably.
Fifth: Water lines along surrounding hills suggests that a salt water sea once occupied the area.
Sixth: It is believed that the area was once inhabited by the Urus, a people today extinct, and later dominated successively by Aymara warlords, Quechuas of the Inca empire, and Spanish conquerors. Along its banks flourished the Tihuanaco culture that has been dated variously from early B.C. times to as far back as 2000 B.C. Some culture left behind immense megalithic constructions and complex agricultural systems redolent of an obviously advanced civilization. Before these people mysteriously disappeared, its art, culture and religion had spread throughout the entire Andean region.
Seventh: Considered an agricultural area today, the main crops are: quinoa, potato and other tubers, fodder and some leguminous species and vegetables. Yet, in times past, corn fields dominated the area, yet at this altitude, corn will not germinate and grow.
Ninth: Geologists consider Lake Titicaca as having formed due to Tectonic movement, or tectonic warping.
Eighth: not too far from the lake is the ruined city of Tihuanaco (Tiwanaku), that once held up to 100,000 inhabitants.
Ninth: the construction of the ancient city and the working of the huge megalithic stones is remarkable. The stones were often secured to adjoining stones with metal "staples." Matching grooves were carved in the top of the stones as they lay side by side (above). Then, molten metal was poured and allowed to harden, securing the two stones together. This advanced technology, by the way, was also utilized in Egypt, which begs the question, how did both sets of builders come to use the same methods separated by a vast ocean so many thousands of miles apart?
Tenth: The fact that the culture of Tiahuanaco appeared fully developed in this high altitude, arid and inhospitable land is a real puzzle. Almost immediately they seem to have used advanced building techniques like modular construction, much like a child’s interlocking lego blocks. These huge blocks were carved from single stones and designed to fit together on the site with exact precision and artistic style. These techniques were only developed by modern builders in the last century.
Eleventh: The massive blocks are extremely stable, resisting both time and earthquakes. But how were they made, transported and positioned, apparently by hand?
Twelfth: Some of these stones weigh hundreds of tons. In fact, one stone is estimated at 440 tons—that is equal to nearly 200 full-size cars. Several other blocks are between 100 and 150 tons.
Thirteenth: Tihuanaco is located to the south of the lake, yet the quarry for these giant blocks was on the western shore, some ten miles away. There is no known technology in all the ancient world that could have transported stones of such massive weight and size. The Andean people of 500 A.D., with their simple reed boats, could certainly not have moved them, though some archaeologists claim that date for construction (others claim a much older date).
Fourteenth: Carvings are found at Tihuanaco of a bearded people, which bear no known resemblance to the inhabitants of the Andes of any record, except in legends.
Fifteenth: The huge stones are of granite and diorite, and the only stone cutting tool capable of cutting these rocks would be diamond tipped. Yet, they are cut to millimeter tolerances, edges and cuts being perfectly straight with holes bored exactly the same diameter and exactly the same depth.
Sixteenth: The largest pyramid, given the name Acapana, is a stepped pyramid, similar to those found in Egypt and Mesoamerica. It originally have a covering of smooth Andesite stone, and its interior is honeycombed with shafts in a complicated grid pattern, which incorporates a system of weirs used to direct water from a tank on top, going through a series of levels, and finally ending up in a stone canal surrounding the pyramid, the function of which, has baffled modern archaeologists.
Seventeenth: The Gate of the Sun (above), a ten-ton block of solid Andesite granite stone cut to form a gate, has carved on it an elephant, along with jaguars and condors, including human figures, with some of the figures flanking the centerpiece left unfinished, causing viewers to wonder what could have interrupted the craftsmen.
Eighteenth: According to Inca legends, Tihuanaco was built by a race of giants whose fatherland had been destroyed in a great deluge that had lasted for two months.
Nineteenth:  A large stone statue, called simply "the idol," stands in the southwest corner of the Kalasasaya Temple. Its 7-foot height is almost covered with hieroglyphic-like carvings, though no one knows if these carvings represent a form of writing or are merely decorative.

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