Did You Know?
The Incas believed that the origin of the world was at the Tiwanaku site near Tiwanaku, Bolivia.
A component of the Tiwanaku site in Bolivia, Puma Punku, also called Pumapunku or Puma Puncu, is a temple complex. A pre-Columbian heritage site, Tiwanaku is located near the Lake Titicaca, to the west of La Paz high in the Andes mountains.
The technology and architecture used here is way ahead of its times, which has led people to believe that it was made by ancient aliens. This monument seems to resemble a great wharf because in the distant past, the Lake Titicaca washed against the shores of Tiahuanaco.
This historic site continues to baffle everyone ever since it was discovered. So, what makes this place so fascinating? Let's find out.
Puma Punku, meaning "The Door of the Puma" in Aymara, is around 12,000 to 14,000 years old. It is one of the oldest civilizations known to man.
Lack of any written records and deteriorated condition due to weathering has made it difficult to have concrete knowledge about this temple-like structure.
The Plataforma Lítica forms the eastern part of Puma Punku. It has a stone terrace covered with huge stone blocks. The biggest stone block in the Tiwanaku site was discovered in the Plataforma Lítica.
On the northeast and southeast corners are projections of around 20 meters wide. Puma Punku has a length of 167.36 meters and a breadth of 116.7 meters. Although now in ruins, the layout resembles a square.
The megalithic stones found here are the largest in the world.
The largest stone weighs around 131 metric tons. It is 7.81 meters long, 5.17 meters wide, and 1.07 meters thick. The second largest stone is 7.90 meters long, 2.50 meters wide, and 1.86 meters thick. Its weight is around 85.21 metric tons.
The stones found here are enormous and made of granite and diorite; the core consists of clay. What makes the structure so interesting is the precision in stone cutting. The blocks are so perfect that they look mass-produced. In fact, they can be joined together to form a giant structure looking like the English alphabet "H." These blocks are so compact that not even a razor blade can pass through them!
These large stones were carried from a quarry, roughly 10 km away near Lake Titicaca. On the other hand, the smaller ones were brought from the Copacabana Peninsula, which is about 90 km away and across the Lake Titicaca.
The major question is how were these stones transported? Puma Punku is at the height of 12,800 meters, which makes it impossible for trees to grow. So, wood rollers could not have been used. Another theory is that the inhabitants had a huge labor force, which carried them. Some people also believe that they were carried on inclined planes.
Diamond is the only stone harder than granite and diorite. Diamond tools would be necessary if these people used stone cutting methods.
The huge size of the stones and architecture remain a mystery even today. There are many theories, but no plausible explanation. The theory that aliens came and built the structures is also very popular. It is impossible for the civilization to possess such modern machines or techniques.
Puma Punku was the spiritual and ritual center of the Tiwanaku. Remains found and inscriptions on the artifacts show that human sacrifice was practiced here.
It is said that the sculptured heads seen on the walls of this structure do not represent the local people. Instead, it stands for all human races. Also, they seem to exemplify every shape of the human head that exists on this Earth.
One of the greatest discoveries here is the Fuente Magna Bowl. The ceramic bowl has Sumerian cuneiform and proto-Sumerian hieroglyphic written on it. It is surprising as the two civilizations are divided by an ocean, and technological means to cross it were not available then. Puma Punku was a pre-Columbian civilization where Sumerian was not used, then why was it carved on the bowl? This still cannot be explained.
The Tiwanaku culture dominated the entire Lake Titicaca at its peak. It was inhabited by around 400,000 people. It was destroyed by a massive earthquake or a tide from the Lake Titicaca.
It is believed that this monument was abandoned before its completion.
According to some sources, the Gate of the Sun was initially a part of Puma Punku.
There are no written records, and with too many theories, the mystery of Puma Punku continues to astound one and all!