7. April, 2017.
Tiwanaku was the ceremonial capital of an empire that thrived in the Andes Mts. around Lake Titicaca from 200-700 AD. Only administrators and leaders lived in the city and directed the daily running of the empire from this place. Probably governed in the now extinct and sacred Puquina language, whose descendants still live nearby in the mountains east of the lake, speaking Quechua today.
Only about 9% of the site has been archaeologically excavated. The most recent investigation ended in a dispute between local and foreign archaeologists. Exciting discovery had been made that called for two small robots to be sent through tunnels into what is believed to be the seven inner layers of the pyramid. One of the robots returned with gold in it’s arm but the other robot disappeared somewhere inside the pyramid.
After that the atmosphere within the group started to sour with local archaeologists criticising that foreign doctoral students were working in the investigation team instead of fully fledged archaeologists. In the end the foreigners were banned from entering the site. With them went the investigation grant. Since than no investigation has taken place in Tiwanaku. That is a sad development indeed since so much is unknown about the site.
Monuments, structures and layout thus continue to defy explanation. The site is still a holy site for local Bolivians, especially so among the Aymara and Quechua peoples. Irreparable damage has however been done to the site since the first Spanish conquistadores laid their eyes on the place in the 15th century. By then it was a ghost site but untouched. It didn’t remain so very long. Spanish priests stole stones from the site, particularly from the pyramid, to build a church in the village that lies close to the site.
What has been discovered so far about the site is a dedication to the female and male powers and the balance of the cosmos. Man-woman, land-sky, day-night, the cosmic powers are kept in balance at the site. One of many strange things at the site is a statue depicting a man with a belt. On the belt are clear images of crabs that only exist today on small islands on the other side of the Pacific ocean. Did ancient Tiwanakuans sail in their reed boats across the Pacific and back with evidence to show to their rulers? Mysterious indeed!
The Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl proved to the world that reed boats were deep sea worthy when he and his companions sailed all the way to Easter Island in such a vessel.