Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Advanced Marvels of Tiahuanaco – Part I

High in the Andes, on the picturesque shores of Lake Titicaca, stand the remains of a city of startling dimensions—and no one knows its origins. Not even the oldest living Indian could tell of its history when questioned by the Spanish after the conquest of the area in 1549.
The original stones and buildings were torn down by the Spanish and subsequent locals to build their own structures; the railroad broke up the huge blocks weighing hundreds of tons for roadbase beneath their tracks. A rebuilding program to rebuild Tihuanaco is underway, but it is slow progress
Some South American archaeologists consider that Tihuanaco or Tiwanacu, a name given the area by the Spanish (no one knows what its builders called the city, as there are no records available) was built at a time when the Land was almost two miles lower than it now is. In fact, an ancient and deserted seaport is located nearby. This theory is based on changes in the Andean Ridge, as interpreted by deposits of calcareous lime or “water mark” lines on cliffs and mountains, and on the belief that this section of the Andes and Lake Titicaca were thrust upward, destroying and emptying the city, as well as other centers of this prehistoric culture. One things is certain, it was not built by the Indians of the surrounding area, the Inca or their immediate ancestors.
According to Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, a noted French writer, ethnographer, historian and archaeologist, “There were in these regions, at that remote date, convulsions of nature, deluges, terrible inundations, followed by the upheaval of mountains, accompanied by volcanic eruptions. These traditions, traces of which are also met within Peru and Bolivia, point to the conclusion that man existed in these various countries at the time of the upheaval of the Cordilleras, and that the memory of that upheaval has been preserved.” He also stated about “convulsions and inundations, profound disturbances, and mountains and volcanoes that suddenly rose up.”
According to Pedro Cieza de Leon, the self-acclaimed first chronicler of the Indies, wrote about the Inca and their history and said, “whoever its engineers of Tiahuanaco were, they certainly were not related to the Indians in any way.” It is also obvious that there is a foreign element apparent both from the style of the structures and from the fact that the statues of Tiahuanaco depict strange-looking men with beards—not the usual Indian faces, which tend to be devoid of beard growth. The society that developed the entire Tiahuanaco area had technicalities that astounded the conquistadors, and even the engineers of today.
Note the size of these huge blocks of stone compared to the man on top of one. Originally they were covered with Andesite (a hard igneous volcanic rock, and a name derived from the Andes Mountains, which is often used today for paving and décor stones)
Archaeologists who have studied the site since its discovery by the Spaniards have uncovered features thought to be unknown to the ancients. The Akapana Temple (“The One who holds the Thunderbolt, the descriptive name of Viracocha, the Creator God), also called the by archaeologists, the “Hill of Sacrifices,” is one of the three important temple sites. The Arkapana is the largest terraced step pyramid of the city, and was once believed to be a modified hill. Its base is formed of beautifully cut and joined facing stone blocks, and within the cut-stone retaining walls are six T-shaped terraces with vertical stone pillars, an architectural technique that is also used in most of the other Tiwanaku monuments.  
The stone blocks originally had a covering of smooth Andesite stone, but 90% of that has disappeared due to weathering. The ruinous state of the pyramid is due to its being used as a stone quarry for later buildings at La Paz, including the railroad which was built nearby.
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. On the summit of the Arkapana there was a sunken court with an area 164 feet square serviced by a subterranean drainage system that still remains unexplained.
Associated with the Akapana are four temples: the Semi-subterranean, the Kalasasaya, the Putuni, and the Kheri Kala. The first of these, the Semi-subterranean Temple, was studded with sculptured stone heads set into cut-stone facing walls and in the middle of the court was located a now-famous monolithic stela, which represents a human figure wearing elaborate clothes and a crown. The population of the ancient Tiwanaku heartland is estimated to have been about 365,000, of whom 115,000 lived in the capital and satellite cities, with the remaining 250,000 engaged in farming, herding, and fishing.

The Entrance to the subterranean Court and the megalithic doorway were moved to their present location by archaeologists in an attempt to rebuild the site; however, much of what they did was inferior to the original stonework found at Tiwanaku

This megatlithic doorway is all that remains of the walls of a building on a small mound near the Kalasaya. Much of the readily accessible masonry at the ruin was used to construct the Catholic church in the village. A nearby railroad bridge also has Tiwanaku stone. Adjacent to the sunken court, residences of the elite were revealed, while under the patio the remains of a number of seated individuals, believed to have been priests, faced a man with a ceramic vessel that displayed a puma--an animal sacred to the people of Tiwanaku. Ritual offerings of llamas and ceramics, as well as high-status goods made of copper, silver and obsidian were also encountered in this elite residential area. The cut-stone building foundations supported walls of adobe brick, which have been eroded away by the yearly torrential rains over the centuries.
In 1934 the Peruvianist Wendell C. Bennett carried out several excavations at Tiwanaku. Excavating in the Subterranean Temple he found two large stone images. One was a bearded statue. Depicted are large round eyes, a straight narrow nose and oval mouth. Rays of lightning are carved on the forehead. Strange animals are carved up around the head. It stands over 7 feet tall with arms crossed over an ankle-length tunic, which is decorated with pumas around the hem. Serpents ascend the figure on each side, reminding one of the Feathered Serpent culture-hero known as Quetzalcoatl in Central America. Beside the bearded statue was a much larger statue over 24 feet tall. It was sculpted out of red sandstone, and is covered with carved images of various kinds. The image holds objects in each hand, which are totally unidentifiable, and there are a number of designs scattered over its surface, many of which resemble the running winged-figures found on the Gate of the Sun, only with curled-up tails. The "Weeping God" is depicted on the sides of the head of the statue.
The Gate of the Sun and the carving of Viroccha in the top, called the “weeping god” because of tears beneath his eyes
The now-crumbling sides of the impressive structure were perfectly squared with the cardinal points of the compass, a feature common with other great edifices found around the world, including the Great Pyramid of Giza.
The destructive plundering of the Spanish conquerors erased some of the clues that might have served as keys to unlock the secrets of the ancient inhabitants, and the ravages of time have deteriorated the rest. Today the side surfaces of the Arkapana are rough and torn; the stone slabs that provided a protective cover for the stones has long since disappeared.
This inexplicable cyclopean ruin on the shores of Lake Titicaca was found abandoned by the first Spaniards who arrived there. It was a city built of enormous stone blocks, some of them weighing up to 200 tons, fastened together by silver bolts, which were removed by the Spanish conquerors, causing the buildings to collapse during subsequent earthquakes. During its construction, stone blocks weighing 100 tons were sunk into the earth as foundations for the supporting walls of these buildings, and door frames 10 feet high and 2 feet thick had been carved from single blocks of stone.
(See the next post, “The Advanced Marvels of Tiahuanaco and Other Sites – Part II,” for more about the magnificent stonework of an ancient culture unknown to history)


  1. The weeping God.. Who could it possibly be???

    18 And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying unto the Father, he arose; but so great was the joy of the multitude that they were overcome.
    19 And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise.
    20 And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.
    21 And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.
    22 And when he had done this he wept again;

  2. Excellent point. Archaeologists would be so far ahead of the game if they would simply read the Book of Mormon.