Tiahuanacu (also called Tiwanaku)
Tiahuanacu (also called Tiwanaku) is a mystery because of its age (estimated to be 17,000 years) and the peculiar stone technology.
Today there is little doubt that Tiahuanaco was a major sacred ceremonial centre and focal point of a culture that spread across much of the region. The ancient people built a stone pyramid known as the Akapana
That structure dominates the bottom half of this aerial photo.
When first discovered the pyramid was largely covered with soil. After several decades of excavation some of the walls have been uncovered and treasure hunters opened a depression in the top. This was built originally to open towards the east. The dark line across the lower part of the picture is the railway line from a lakeside port to La Paz, the Bolivian capital. The rectangular outline just 'above and to the left ' of the Akapana is a terreplein. known as the Kalasasaya. The lighter patch with an indistinct outline 'above' the Akapana is where an excavated semi-subterranean 'temple' has been discovered. Other features are visible but most of the 'patches' are fields. The upper part of the picture is crossed by the road from the the village of Tiwanaku leading eastwards to La Paz. (taken from 'Pathways to the Gods' by Tony Morrison 1978).
Pumapunku (Puma Punka)
This is another 'temple area' with many finely cut stones some weighing over 100 tonnes. Its position to the south of the Akapana may have been important because it gave a good view to a sacred mountain far to the east. Of course there is no certainty that this was the reason as the ancient builders left no written records. All the legends have been handed down through the generations.
Puma Punku, truly startles the imagination. It seems to be the remains of a great wharf (for Lake Titicaca long ago lapped upon the shores of Tiahuanaco) and a massive, four-part, now collapsed building. One of the construction blocks from which the pier was fashioned weighs an estimated 440 tons (equal to nearly 600 full-size cars) and several other blocks laying about are between 100 and 150 tons. 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. The Andean people of 500 AD, with their simple reed boats, could certainly not have moved them. Even today, with all the modern advances in engineering and mathematics, we could not fashion such a structure.
How were these monstrous stones moved and what was their purpose?
Posnansky suggested an answer, based upon his studies of the astronomical alignments of Tiahuanaco, but that answer is considered so controversial, even impossible, that it has been ignored and censured by the scientific community for fifty years.
Puma Punku doesn’t look impressive: a hill as remains of an old pyramid and a large number of megalithic block of stone on the ground, evidently smashed by a devastating earthquake. However, closer inspection shows that these stone blocks have been fabricated with a very advanced technology. Even more surprising is the technical design of these blocks shown in the drawing below.All blocks fit together like interlocking building blocks.