Monday, September 9, 2013

Questions About Tiahuanaco – Part I

Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) has been a site of mystery since it was first discovered in the mid-nineteenth century. It is a huge area just to the south of Lake Titicaca on the west Bolivian altiplano. It is one of the oldest cities in Andean South America, and predates anything built in Mesoamerica by many centuries. It lies about 19 miles south of Lake Titicaca, which is about two hundred miles southeast of Cuzco. Since we have had a large number of questions regarding Tiahuanaco, we will cover them here in these combined posts.
Comment #1: I recently visited Peru and spent some time, as you have suggested, looking over Tiahuanaco. In discussing this with several guides and people who claim to know a lot about this remarkable area, I find it difficult to see how all the calculations, planning, and design work involved in producing this great city could have been done without some form of writing. There is simply no way that it could have been accomplished without a writing system” Eldon M.
The Sun Gate at Tiwanaku is about 10 feet tall and 13 feet wide and constructed from a single piece of stone, weighing about 10 tons. Bottom image is as it appeared in 1903. The lintel is carved with 48 squares surrounding a central figure. Each square represents a character in the form of winged effigy. There are 32 effigies with human faces and 16 with condor's heads, and all look to the central figure, whose identity remains an enigma. It is a figure of a man with the head surrounded by 24 linear rays that may represent rays of solar light. The styled staffs held by the figure apparently symbolize thunder and lightning. Some historians and archaeologists believe that the central figure represents the “sun god,” judging by the rays emitted from its head, while others have identified it with the creator-God Viracocha
Response: I cannot imagine how anyone seeing these ruins could possibly believe they were built by an illiterate culture. The same is true with the ruins at Sacsayhuaman. As for Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku), it is claimed by some, based on their studies and interpretation of the Sun Gate that they determined, ages before Archimedes and the Egyptians, the ratio of pi, the most important ratio between the circumference of the circle and its diameter, as 22/7 or, in our notation, 3.14+, and that they could calculate squares and thus, square roots. Obviously, the typical scientist thinks them to have been illiterate because they have found no evidence of writing on their monuments or in the ground—but there are reasons for that as has been stated here many times.
Comment #2: “Is it true that though Tiahuanaco is now at about 12,500 feet elevation, that it was once a seaport? How is that possible?” Angelique R.
Some of the ruins of a massive dock that once handled hundreds of ships at a time, now broken and scattered across the Puma Punku landscape at Tiwanaku
Response: Based upon topography of the Andes and the fauna of Lake Titicaca, together with a chemical analysis of this lake and others on the same plateau, it is now understood that the entire plateau was at one time at sea level. According to Arturo Posnansky, Tiahuanacu, the Cradle of the American Man (1945) p 23, Tiahuanaco was a port city along an eastern sea that is now called the Atlantic Ocean. On the rock cliffs near the piers and wharfs of the port area of the ruins are yellow-white calcareous deposits forming long, straight lines indicating pre-historic water levels. These ancient shorelines are strangely tilted, although once they must have been level, and such tilting of the ancient shoreline striations and the abundant presence of fossilized oceanic flora and fauna, that a tremendous uplift of land took place anciently. The surrounding area is covered with millions of fossilized seashells, and oceanic creatures live to this day in abundance in the salty waters of the lake, indicating that it was once a part of the ocean, although it is now over 2 miles above sea-level. What seems to be the original seashore is much higher in one place than in another. This port city, now called Puma Punku or "Door of the Puma," is an area filled with enormous stone blocks scattered like matchsticks, and weighing between 100 and 150 tons! One block still in place weighs an estimated 440 tons!  The docks opened to an East Sea that once inundated the South American land mass east of what is now the Andes Mountains. This was no port city along a lake since some of the docks and piers are so large that hundreds of ships could dock comfortably. It is understood that a tremendous geological upheaval occurred in the last two thousand years that tumbled these huge stones while raising the entire altiplano region two miles into the sky. As Helaman wrote: “But behold, a hundredth part of the proceedings of this people…and their shipping and their building of ships…” (Helaman 3:14).
Comment #3: “I read that the Tiahuanaco culture has no roots in that area. It did not grow there from humbler beginnings, nor is any other place of origin known. It seems to have appeared practically full blown suddenly” Vaughan.
Response: That is true, however, it drives archaeologists and anthropologists crazy because they have to find diffusion and earlier settlement since it is their model of understanding. But Tiahuanaco began from a culture that already had developed beyond such beginnings and were new to this hemisphere and for that, scientists have no understanding.
Comment #4: “I’m a little confused. Is it Tiahuanaco or Puma Punku that lies just south of Lake Titicaca?” Jayden W.
Response: The overall area is referred to as Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku). It is divided into four main areas: 1) Puma Punku, 2) The Akapana Pyramid, 3) The Kalasasaya Platform, and 4) The Subterranean Temple. In addition, there are other areas open to visitors, such as the Kheri Kala and Putuni enclosures, and also a secondary area referred to as Akapana East. However, it is generally the subterranean temple that is frequently photographed and of which most people are familiar.
The subterranean Temple with its walls of numerous carved heads surrounding a large court. Actually, while this most common picture of the court appears to be one complex, the actual subterranean court is in the foreground and the entrance in the background is part of the Kalasasaya Temple (east wall)
In most cases, the area is referred to as Tiahuanaco unless you want to isolate the port city, which is called Puma Punku, situated on the southwestern portion of the overall complex, about 3300 feet southwest of the subterranean temple. Puma Punku consists of an unwalled western court, a central unwalled esplanade, a terraced platform mound that is faced with megalithic stone, and a walled eastern court. It is, overall, a terraced earthen mound that is faced with megalithic blocks, 549 feet wide along its north-south axis and 382 feet long along its east-west axis. On the northeast and southeast corners it has 65-feet wide projections that extend 90-feet north and south from the rectangular mound. The eastern edge is occupied by what is called the "Plataforma Lítica,” which consists of a stone terrace that is 22 feet by 127 feet in dimension, and is paved with multiple enormous stone blocks. Excavations at Puma Punku have documented “three major building epochs, in addition to small repairs and remodeling. I would think that in ancient times when this area was populated, that it was one overall city of some 400,000 people at its peak, with a port section where shipping and trading took place. Under today’s tendency of Archaeologists, each section of the city is given a different name or label and sometimes is confusing if you haven’t actually been there.
Comment #5: “I have read that some believe the regularity of many of Pumapunku's stone forms are not stones at all, but rather concrete that was cast into forms, perhaps suggesting Helaman 3:7” Remus.
The so-called “H” blocks, which show an extremely high stone cutting technology and what to some appears to be elements of a modern-style block construction, is sometimes thought to have been cast in concrete
Response: Anything is possible, however, in this case, archaeologists have not found any proof that such technology was known to pre-Incan cultures, but that doesn't prove it wasn't. What can be proven, and proven quite easily, is that there is no concrete at Puma Punku or anywhere else in Tiwanaku. Contrary to the suppositions of paranormalists, modern geologists are, in fact, quite able to discern rock from concrete. Petrographic and chemical analyses are relatively trivial to carry out, and even allow scientists to determine exactly where the rocks were quarried. Puma Punku's large blocks are a common red sandstone that was quarried about 7 miles away. Many of the smaller stones, including the most ornamental and some of the facing stones, are of igneous andesite and came from a quarry on the shore of Lake Titicaca, about 56 miles away.

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