Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Mystery of Tiwanaku / Phase 13


From 400 A.D., onward Tiwanaku went from a locally dominant force to a powerful state and began to spread through conquest and assimilation.  When a civilization such as Tiwanaku begins heavy architectural construction projects one begins to suspect that this civilization has reached the predatory stage.  This is when a civilization like Tiwanaku conquers surrounding territory and captures large numbers of people and enslaves them in order to carry out dangerous architectural construction projects. Some of those captured would be used as human sacrifices too.  The situation would be similar with territory that was assimilated, and became associated with them by furnishing slaves and human sacrifices by those leaders to maintain their own rule and independence.  This was a common practice in Mesoamerica.  When one thinks of these large dangerous construction projects carried out in ancient history-the weight of and the amount of stones moved-there must have been an incalculable loss of human life.  This means these slave populations had to be quite large, when the only form of technology was slave technology.  Therefore, this has led many people to wonder if some of these monumental architectural projects had outside help.  That is, futuristic technology, which could only have been provided by Ancient Astronauts.
Tiwanaku enclaves have been discovered in recent times as far south as the Lake Poopo a salt lake in southern Bolivia.  Lake Titicaca empties into this lake by way of the Desaguadero River.  The South Poopo inhabitants developed a unique style of ceramics with triangular spirals.



Tiwanaku - Lake Poopo and the Desaguadero River

West of Kalasasaya Temple is a large rectangular area known as Putuni or Palacio de los Sarcofagos, which is still being excavated.


imageThe Putuni Complex- The Palace of Sarcophagi


At the eastern end of the site is a heap of rubble known as Kantatayita.


Geometric designs found at the Kantatayita Mound

Archaeologists have not yet been able to piece together what sort of structure was made from the pieces, but they are intriguingly carved with geometrical designs. . According to one archeologist, her excavations east of the Kalasasaya Complex show that previous ritual areas and houses of important people must have been razed to build the Putuni Complex.



Tiwanaku with the Putuni complex in the foreground

So far, the analysis of the geo-radar information has surpassed investigator’s expectations.  They had expected that the clay fill eroding from the Akapana Pyramid would make the entire area opaque to the radar, but instead the radar image reveals several interesting anomalies. A large diagonal line marks the modern tourist path, but to the south of that, were noted two structures, one superimposed on the other; the first structure in the highlighted square is a round or D-shaped form, and the second structure is a single rectilinear feature located a bit deeper.  A trench will be dug to investigate both structures and to see how they relate to one another. A Geophysical survey will be used further to the east, where the ground topography suggests the presence of more buried monuments and structures.
Along with this separation of occupations, there was also a hierarchal stratification within the empire. The elites of Tiwanaku lived inside four walls that were surrounded by a moat. This moat, some believe, was to create the image of a sacred island.


Tiwanaku moat

Inside the walls there were many images of human origin that only the elites were privileged to see, despite the fact that these images represent the beginning of all humans not only the elite. Commoners may have only ever entered this structure for ceremonial purposes since it was home to the holiest of shrines.


Tiwanaku- Faces of the noble room

The community grew to urban proportions between AD 600 and AD 800, becoming an important regional power in the southern Andes. According to early estimates, at its maximum extent, the city covered approximately 6.5 square kilometers, and had between 15,000 – 30,000 inhabitants. However, satellite imaging was used recently to map the extent of fossilized suka kollus across the three primary valleys of Tiwanaku, arriving at population-carrying capacity estimates of anywhere between 285,000 and 1,482,000 people.


The Semi- Subterranean Temple

The Tiwanaku civilization was an agrarian based economy. The population is estimated at an 115,000 peak in the concentrated, urbanized core area of Tiwanaku, with 365,000 totals in the city and three nearby valleys. In all probability, state-controlled agriculture produced the surplus wealth to support the urban center and administrative specialists.  Tiwanaku and adjacent valleys are clearly agricultural areas. A series of villages lining the sides of the valleys and 19,000 hectares of fossil raised fields remain in evidence today, sufficient area to sustain a population of 500,000 or more persons, given sufficient water flow to the system. The extensive and intensive raised field agriculture was dependent on large-scale reclamation of wetlands, dikes, aqueducts, causeways and canals. Massive hydraulic projects controlled the waters. The raised fields, the most important aspect of the Tiwanaku Empire’s agrarian economy, were the largest expanse of raised fields in the world in its time.


Aerial View of the Putuni Complex, the Kalasasaya Complex, and the Semi-Subterranean Temple

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