Friday, March 13, 2015

The Earliest Americans—Tiwanaku – Part I

Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) was the capital of the Tiwanaku Empire and was situated in the basin, just south of Lake Titicaca at an elevation of 12,600 feet. It is believed to have had a peak population of between 30,000 and 70,000 residents. At its largest extent, the Tiwanaku dominated the altiplano plains and stretched from the Peruvian coast to northern Bolivia and included parts of northern Chile (Yellow Arrow pointing to blue area; to the north was the Nephite nation in the Land of Zarahemla to Bountiful [White Arrow pointing to purple area] running along the coast northward to Ecuador).
Most of the ancient city of Tiahuanaco, which was largely built from adobe, has been overlaid by the modern town. However, the monumental stone buildings of the ceremonial center survive in the protected archaeological zones.
    Tiwanaku: Spiritual and Political Center of the Tiwanaku Culture began as a small settlement which later flourished into a planned city between 400 A.D. and 900 A.D. The maximum expression of this culture is reflected in the civic - ceremonial organized spatially with a center oriented toward to the cardinal points, constructed with impressive ashlars stones carved accurately and equipped with a complex system of underground drainage that was controlling the flow of rain waters.
    The public - religious space of this city is shaped by a series of architectural structures that correspond to different periods of cultural accessions: Temple Semi-underground, Kalasasaya's Temple, Akapana's Pyramid, Pumapumku's Pyramid. In addition, the area politician - administrative officer is represented by structures as the Palace of Putuni and Kantatallita. This architectural complex reflects the complex political structure of the period and its strong religious nature.
    Now unlike Egypt which was able to maintain power and control even between up and lower Egypt. The area of Tiahuanaco does show signs of massive upheaval. It appears that these ancient people faced a massive cataclysmic destruction of their civilization and the sujrvivors were forced to begin again. It is thought that the Ancient Tiahuanacans were flooded out--hence the amount of drastic destruction of their ancient monuments.
Based on findings,plots and archaeological distributions located in and around Tiahuanaco, artists have put together possible images of the site 
    Covering some 400 acres, Tiahuanaco was a vastly modern city for the time, with huge blocks, some weighing as much as 150 to 200 tons, assembled in unique fashion with metal connections, precision carved designs and equidistant, drilled holes. They were carved from single stones and designed to fit together on the site with exact prevision and artistic stule--techniques only developed by modern builders in the last century. 
Top: A stack of these uniquely and highly precision-cut stones; Bottom Left: A close up of the cuts in these stones that date to B.C. times; Bottom Right: A drawing of how they inter-connected--a system only recently developed by modern man 
    The quarry for these giant blocks was on the western shore of Titicaca, 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. Certainly not the Andean people of later times with their simple reed boats. Even today, with all the modern advances in engineering and mathematics, building such a structure would tax our technology.
    In addition, these blocks have resisted time,were extremely stable, resisting severe earthquakes, though not the type of overall cataclysm that eventually struck the site.
A full artist rendering of the city of Tiahuanaco showing canals and ships since the city at one time had extensive docks for shipping off a large sea 
    When Tiahuanaco was in its glory, a great cataclysm struck the area, rising it from sea level where the city lay next to the ocean and pushed it up thousands of feet into the air with the rise of the Andes mountains. There seems little doubt from all the findings at the site that once this large city was a seaport, which still has the ruins of extensive docks lying on an earlier shoreline where at one time the docks accommodated hundreds of sea-going vessels. Then, these huge building blocks, some weighing well over one hundred tons, were knocked about, thrown about like matchsticks as the cataclysm hit.
    In addition, there is much evidence that Lake Titicaca, which at one time covered a larger area, was once a saltwater sea. Its shoreline today is littered with millions of fossilized seashells, and the marine fishes and seahorses in the lake are all oceanic types found only in salt water.
    Many researches today are convinced that these ruins, which now lie nearly three miles above sea level, were once at ocean level, attributing the rise to an incredibly devastating earthquake that torn the city asunder, lifting Tiahuanaco and the lake to where they are now. The present lake bottom tilts sharply toward the east, where the sea once lay, dropping to a maximum depth of 920 feet
Massive stones, some weighing well over a hundred ton, are thrown about the site attesting to the severity of the earthquake that once rocked this land—they are believed to have once been a series of docks capable of handling more than a hundred ships 
    Now, these massive fallen stones, which were used to build this massive city lie scattered about, having at one time been tossed about just like popcorn in a skillet. The stones are so large—one block still in place weighs an estimated 440 tons—even today it would be a technological marvel to take them from the mountainous quarry they were brought from, fifty miles away.
    Of course, we do not know what the site looked like before the cataclysm. We can see the huge  blocks, see how they were fitted together, and get an idea of the size and scope of the buildings, but all we can surmise is that it was all destroyed in some great upheaval in ancient times. Then later the Incas, Spanish and some in much more recent times have scavenged most of the building blocks to use in homes, churches, railroads and other buildings.
    Many of the stone pieces have been uncovered from more than six feet of earth, suggesting a very old date as the accumulation of sediment is slow in this arid land. There is also evidence that architectural structures exist at the bottom of Lake Titicaca (see earlier posts on this subject) suggesting that the civilization existed before the lake was formed--or more precisely, before the site was raised up from sea level and the waters now forming Lake Titicaca were entrapped there in the deep rising canyons and small valleys.
    It is believed the area around Tiwanaku must have been inhabited as early as 1600 B.C. Most research has studied the Tiwanaku IV and V periods in the A.D. era, during which the polity grew significantly in power. During the time period between 300 B.C. and 300 A.D., Tiwanaku is thought to have been a moral and cosmological center to which many people made pilgrimages. Researchers believe it achieved this standing prior to expanding its powerful empire. 
(See the next post, “The Earliest Americans—Tiwanaku – Part II,” for more on this most fascinating and advanced site of the early Peruvian people)


  1. This verifies that the great upheaval of that land took place in historic times, not long ages ago before civilizations. And that supports the South American BoM model.

  2. It certainly does. Thank you.