TIWANAKU (Spanish : _TIAHUANACO_ or _TIAHUANACU_) is a Pre-Columbian
archaeological site in western
The site was first recorded in written history by Spanish
Pedro Cieza de León
The name by which
* 1 Structures
* 2 Archaeology
* 2.1 Contemporary excavation and restoration
* 3 See also * 4 References * 5 Bibliography * 6 External links
The area around
The structures that have been excavated by researchers at Tiwanaku include the Akapana, Akapana East, and Pumapunkustepped platforms, the Kalasasaya, the Kheri Kala, and Putuni enclosures, and the Semi-Subterranean Temple. These may be visited by the public.
The Akapana is an approximately cross-shaped pyramidal structure that is 257 m wide, 197 m broad at its maximum, and 16.5 m tall. At its center appears to have been a sunken court. This was nearly destroyed by a deep looters excavation that extends from the center of this structure to its eastern side. Material from the looters excavation was dumped off the eastern side of the Akapana. A staircase with sculptures is present on its western side. Possible residential complexes might have occupied both the northeast and southeast corners of this structure.
Originally, the Akapana was thought to have been developed from a modified hill. Twenty-first century studies have shown that it is an entirely manmade earthen mound , faced with a mixture of large and small stone blocks. The dirt comprising Akapana appears to have been excavated from the "moat" that surrounds the site. The largest stone block within the Akapana, made of andesite , is estimated to weigh 65.70 metric tons. The structure was possibly for the shaman -puma relationship or transformation through shape shifting. Tenon puma and human heads stud the upper terraces. _ Snuff tablet ("rapero"), Lombards Museum_
The Akapana East was built on the eastern side of early Tiwanaku. Later it was considered a boundary between the ceremonial center and the urban area. It was made of a thick, prepared floor of sand and clay, which supported a group of buildings. Yellow and red clay were used in different areas for what seems like aesthetic purposes. It was swept clean of all domestic refuse, signaling its great importance to the culture.
The Pumapunkuis a man-made platform built on an east–west axis like the Akapana. It is a rectangular, terraced earthen mound faced with megalithic blocks. It is 167.36 m wide along its north–south axis and 116.7 m broad along its east–west axis, and is 5 m tall. Identical 20-meter-wide projections extend 27.6 meters north and south from the northeast and southeast corners of the Pumapunku. Walled and unwalled courts and an esplanade are associated with this structure.
A prominent feature of the
Pumapunkuis a large stone terrace; it is
6.75 by 38.72 meters in dimension and paved with large stone blocks.
It is called the "Plataforma Lítica". The Plataforma Lítica contains
the largest stone block found in the
The Kalasasayais a large courtyard more than 300 feet long, outlined by a high gateway. It is located to the north of the Akapana and west of the Semi-Subterranean Temple. Within the courtyard is where explorers found the Gateway of the Sun. Since the late 20th century, researchers have theorized that this was not the gateway's original location.
Near the courtyard is the Semi-Subterranean Temple; a square sunken courtyard that is unique for its north–south rather than east–west axis. The walls are covered with tenon heads of many different styles, suggesting that the structure was reused for different purposes over time. It was built with walls of sandstone pillars and smaller blocks of Ashlar masonry. The largest stone block in the Kalasasayais estimated to weigh 26.95 metric tons. "Gateway of the Sun ", Tiwanaku, drawn by Ephraim Squierin 1877. The scale is exaggerated in this drawing. Gate of the Moon.
Within many of the site's structures are impressive gateways; the ones of monumental scale are placed on artificial mounds, platforms, or sunken courts. Many gateways show iconography of the Staff God. This iconography also is used on some oversized vessels, indicating an importance to the culture. This iconography is most present on the Gateway of the Sun.
The Gateway of the Sunand others located at Pumapunkuare not complete. They are missing part of a typical recessed frame known as a chambranle , which typically have sockets for clamps to support later additions. These architectural examples, as well as the recently discovered Akapana Gate, have a unique detail and demonstrate high skill in stone-cutting. This reveals a knowledge of descriptive geometry . The regularity of elements suggest they are part of a system of proportions.
Many theories for the skill of Tiwanaku's architectural construction
have been proposed. One is that they used a _luk’a,_ which is a
standard measurement of about sixty centimeters. Another argument is
for the Pythagorean Ratio. This idea calls for right triangles at a
ratio of five to four to three used in the gateways to measure all
parts. Lastly Protzen and Nair argue that
As the population grew, occupational niches developed, and people
began to specialize in certain skills. There was an increase in
artisans, who worked in pottery, jewelry and textiles. Like the later
The elites of
As the site has suffered from looting and amateur excavations since shortly after Tiwanaku's fall, archeologists must try to interpret it knowing that materials have been jumbled and destroyed. This destruction continued during the Spanish conquest and colonial period, and during 19th century and the early 20th century. Other damage was committed by people quarrying stone for building and railroad construction, and target practice by military personnel.
No standing buildings have survived at the modern site. Only public, non-domestic foundations remain, with poorly reconstructed walls. The ashlar blocks used in many of these structures were mass-produced in similar styles so that they could possibly be used for multiple purposes. Throughout the period of the site, certain buildings changed purposes, causing a mix of artifacts found today.
Detailed study of
Stairs of Kalasasaya(1903) *
Temple of Kalasasaya(1903) *
Gate of the Sun
Gate of the Sun, Rear View (1903)
CONTEMPORARY EXCAVATION AND RESTORATION
Walls around the temple Kalasasaya
In the 1960s, the Bolivian government initiated an effort to restore the site and reconstruct part of it. The walls of the Kalasasayaare almost all reconstructed. The original stones making up the Kalasasaya would have resembled a more "Stonehenge"-like style, spaced evenly apart and standing straight up. The reconstruction was not sufficiently based on research; for instance, a new wall was built around Kalasasaya. The reconstruction does not have as high quality of stonework as was present in Tiwanaku. As noted, the Gateway of the Sun, now in the Kalasasaya, was moved from its original location.
Modern, academically sound archaeological excavations were performed
from 1978 through the 1990s by
University of Chicago
Archaeologists such as Paul Goldstein have argued that the Tiwanaku
empire ranged outside of the altiplano area and into the Moquegua
Valley in Peru. Excavations at Omo settlements show signs of similar
architecture characteristic of Tiwanaku, such as a temple and terraced
mound. Evidence of similar types of cranial deformation in burials
between the Omo site and the main site of
Recently, the Department of Archaeology of
In former years, an archaeological field school offered through
In 2009 state-sponsored restoration work on the Akapana pyramid was
halted due to a complaint from
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* ^ _A_ _B_ Vranich, A., 1999, _Interpreting the Meaning of Ritual
Spaces: The Temple Complex of Pumapunku, Tiwanaku, Bolivia_, Doctoral
Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Goldstein, Paul (1993). _
* Bermann, Marc _Lukurmata_ Princeton University Press (1994) ISBN
* Bruhns, Karen Olsen, _Ancient South America_, Cambridge University
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* Goldstein, Paul, "