Friday, October 7, 2016

The Flood That Destroyed Tiwanaku – Part I

On the outskirts of the southern shores of Lake Titicaca along the Peru-Bolivia border, lies a massive city beneath the waters that at one time must have been a marvel of monumental construction dating sometime in the late B.C. era, though there is much controversy about when this site was first built, why it was destroyed, when and by whom.
Artists rendition of some of the restored ruins at Tiwanaku and Puma Punku

    Known today as Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco or Tiahuanacu), when the Spanish conquistadors arrived at this site, it had long before been demolished. While they might have added to the turmoil by carting off some of the smaller stones for constructing their own buildings, cathedrals and palaces, the huge stones scattered around the area like demolished child’s lego blocks, have a long and storied history.
    One of the first things the Spanish asked of the Inca about Tiawanaku was if they had built it, to which the Inca merely shook their heads and said it was very ancient before their time. Pedro Cieza de Leon, the Spanish conquistador and self-acclaimed "first chronicler of the Indies," stumbled on the site in 1549, less than 20 years following the defeat of the Inca, while he was searching for the Inca capital Collasuyu. Some have hypothesized that Tiwanaku's modern name is related to the Aymara term taypiqala, meaning "stone in the center," alluding to the belief that it lay at the center of the world. However, the name by which Tiwanaku was known to its inhabitants has been lost, as the people of Tiwanaku left no known or discovered written language.
There are those who believe Tiwanaku is the oldest city in the world, like the Vienna-born Austrian Arthur “Arturo” Posnansky (left), who was at various times in his life an engineer, explorer, ship’s navigator, director of a river navigation company, entrepreneur, La Paz city council member, and well known and well respected avocational archaeologist. His interesting story began at age 23 in 1896, Posnansky emigrated to South America. At first, he participated in various expeditions, which explored upper reaches of the Amazon River. During these expeditions, he became an experienced navigator of it and its tributaries. He used his expertise to become the director of a river navigation company, which was called La Empresa de Navegacao dos rios Purus e Acre. As captain and owner of the shallow-draught steamer and blockade runner, Iris, Posnansky rescued the survivors of the Acre garrison during the Acre Campaign in Brazil, which involved a dispute between Bolivia and Brazil over 490,000-square-miles of territory on the Acre River (in the State of Acre in western Brazil near the northern Bolivia and the eastern Peru borders.
    After being wounded and captured by Brazilian forces, he escaped and became a refugee in Europe. Because of his loyalty to and support of Bolivia in this conflict, he lost all of his properties in Brazil. Posnansky moved to Bolivia to claim compensation for his services to this country that failed to materialize, and started businesses involved in mining and international trade that thrived, becoming a prosperous entrepreneur.
    After settling down in Bolivia, Posnansky repeatedly traveled the Bolivian and Peruvian highlands in efforts to locate, describe, and study Inca and pre-Inca archaeological sites. He was especially interested in those found along the shoreline and on the islands of Lake Titicaca. The results of these investigations were published in books such as The Islands of Titicaca and Koati and Rasas y monummtos prehistoricos del Altiplano Andino. For such research, the Bolivian Senate awarded him a gold medal in 1905 and he later became Director of the National Museum. He also authored books, which included Os Indios Paumaris e Ipurinas no rio Purus (1898) and Mapa del rio Acre (7 volumes, 1897) about South American geography and ethnology. He also lectured about archaeological subjects in Berlin, Frankfort, Nuremberg, and Treptow, Germany. In recognition of his accomplishments, the German Government conferred on him an honorary title of Professor in 1914.
During this time, the Bolivian Government recognized the service of Posnansky, shown here at Tiwanaku, during the Acre Campaign and first granted him the honorific title of Benemerito de la Patria (Worthy of the Nation) and full Bolivian citizenship. Later, it awarded him two gold medals, one in 1901, the other in 1903. In 1905, his government service continued when he was elected to La Paz City Council.
    Because of this influence, Posnansky became well respected throughout Bolivia in all his efforts, including his very detailed evaluation of the age of Tiwanaku, which he placed in his most important book, Tihuanacu, the Cradle of American Man, some seventeen thousand years earlier by Americans, although not by the ancestors of those then living in the area, the Aymara. Posnansky also saw Tiwanaku as the origin point of civilization throughout the Americas, including the Inca, the Maya and others. Since the publication of the work, these ideas have since been discredited by later archaeological research. Posnansky's ideas about Tiwanaku having been a full-fledged city with a large permanent population, rather than only a seasonally occupied ceremonial center, are widely accepted in principle. This book and his personal efforts also contributed significantly to the eventual preservation of the site at a time when it was being very badly damaged by neglect, stone-quarrying, and looting.
    No matter its age according to scientists, it is widely accepted now that it is much older than originally thought, far out-dating the Inca. The more curious part is what happened to the ancient complex and. One of the interesting points of Posnansky’s work in Tiwanaku is to point out that it was destroyed by Flood, which led him to conclude it was Noah’s Flood and helped set the time frame in his mind. However, there were other type floods that could have done the type of damage Posnansky pointed out. First, the extreme damage of huge hundred-ton stones being flung about the countryside does not speak of simply a flood, but of a turmoil of the earth beyond what man has ever experienced.
    Another solid point of research has turned up the fact that a huge wharf for ships was found in Puma Punku on the southern outskirts of Tiwanaku at the southern extremity of the lake now several miles from the shore, suggesting at one time the water was much larger. The wharf is said to have been able to dock over a hundred ships, and is now a tumble of stones as though the wharf was thrown into the air by some gigantic force and broken to pieces. On the opposite side of the cliffs are high water marks, showing that at one time the waterline was much higher in the area.
The lie of the ground from Titicaa eastward is a noticeable tilt where the land runs downhill to the eastern seashore depicting the fact that the enter continent from the Andes eastward was once underwater and eventually rose to the surface as the Andes mountains shot upward

    Now, if Lake Titicaca was a normal lake, having occurred from original water movement, say from the Great Flood of Noah’s time, like other lakes, its bottom by now would be rather level, filled with sand, mud, and sediment. However, Lake Titicaca is not like that at all, with “a bottom that tilts sharply toward the Bolivian shore" reaching a maximum depth of 920 feet, as though water was added later, to these deep mountains that rose out of the ground at a later date and left a definite tilt to the Earth beneath. Its basin is also compounded, with more than one great depth , such as the Lago Grande (Lago Chucuito) has a maximum depth of 932 feet, with the smaller sub-basin Wiñaymarka (“Lago Pequeño,” meaning little lake) with a maximum depth of only 131 feet (the overall depth of the rest of the basin is 443 feet, with an average depth of 351 feet).
    This relatively uneven bottom with deep depressions, underwater rivers or straits (Strait of Tiquina is 2,620 feet across), suggests once again that these waters rose suddenly as the mountain peaks of the Andes around this once coastal area shot upward suddenly, taking cubic tons of seawater with it, causing floods and a very large inland lake as the entire center of the continent rose upward, tilting to the east as the Andes rose in the West, resulting the "the bottom tilts sharply toward the Bolivian shore" reaching a maximum depth of 920 feet in the same configuration as the eastern sloping tilt of the continent, which resulted from its sudden rise when the Andes shot upward.
    This has resulted in a warm monomictic lake that never freezes, and is thermally stratified throughout much of the year. The density difference between the warm surface waters (the epilimnion) and the colder bottom waters (the hypolimnion) prevents the lake from mixing in summer. During winter, the surface waters cool to a temperature equal to the bottom waters. Lacking significant thermal stratification, the lake mixes thoroughly each winter from top to bottom. Such lakes are found from temperate to tropical climatic regions. The Sea of Galilee is one such lake.
Three divers seen hovering over the cut stones found beneath the surface. Note the size of the divers in comparison to the huge colossal-sized stones
    In addition, underwater investigations of the lake have resulted in claims of a buried city in the depths, with stone roads, buildings, and temples. This supports the afore-mentioned scenario of all this area being at sea level at one time and the waters of Titicaca once being the sea. As the Andes shot upward, trapping a large area of ocean water among the quickly rising mountains, the lake was formed, and the city, once at sea level, was shaken in the sudden rise of the mountains and huge, 100-ton blocks of stone were tossed about like a set of child’s blocks.
(See the next post, “The Flood That Destroyed Tiwanaku – Part II,” for more information on the so-called flood that destroyed Tiwanaku and Puma Punku as the Andes shot upward 12,000 feet in an eyelash during the Crucifixion and became the mountains “whose height is great” that Samuel the Lamanite prophesied about)

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