Talk:Tiwanaku

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Missing[edit]

There is a lot missing in this article. In terms of Bolivian research, what about Arturo Poznansky and, perhaps more importantly in terms of ceremonial architecture, Carlos Ponce Sangines? In terms of foreign research, where is Wendell Bennett? Also, scholars are recently beginning to question some of Kolata's conclutions. Here we need to decenter our understanding from Kolata, not discuss him more. What about the recent scholarship of Juan Albarracin-Jordan, etc? Also, can anybody point me towards a source where they discuss the reconstruction of Kalasasaya? I have heard much about its flawed/biased reconstruction, but have yet to see a source. Thanks much!

Official spelling[edit]

Tiwanaku is the official spelling, and Tiahuanaco is the old one. I think Tiwanaku should be the title of the article and Tiahuanaco should be the redirect. Any objections? Gadykozma 12:43, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)

No objection... Tiwanaku is the way it's generally spelled in the native Aymara and Quechua languages, while Tiahuanaco reflects Spanish spelling. This name pairing is quite common in Bolivia (and, I'd bet, also Peru). Since Tiwanaku is an indigenous site, I think it's only proper to use the indigenous spelling, regardless of whether it's "official" or not. The exception would be the nearby modern villiage of Tiahuanaco, built by the Spanish colonials in large part using stones taken from the ruins of Tiwanaku. If the "old"/Spanish spelling is to be used for anything, it should be used only for the modern villiage, reserving the "new"/Aymara-Quechua spelling for the ancient site. Murple 10:16, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Actually, the town name is pretty fluid. I've never called the village anything but Tiwanaku, and no matter what any sign might say, that is what people who live there call the modern village. Really, any Bolivian would know what you mean no matter what you call the place, but Tiwanaku is best in almost any case, including what to call the modern village.

To add to the pro "Tiwanaku" spelling, I've just come across a 1980 book by Hugo Boero Rojo called Discovering Tiwanaku. The book is in English but was printed in Bolivia. Totnesmartin (talk) 14:42, 22 January 2008 (UTC) What about Hans Horbiger?

Alan Kolata[edit]

Need to work in the info about (and from) Alan Kolata, researcher from Chicago who had much to do with unravelling the mystery of Tiwanaku's farming techniques and reintroducing them in the experiments alluded to in the article. Should also mention the theories of trans-oceanic trade by Tiwanaku... and the (flakey, in my opinion) theories linking Tiwanaku to Atlantis myths, simply because they are so widespread. Murple 10:16, 21 December 2005 (UTC)


I would personally delete anything that alludes to trans-oceanic trade and Tiwanaku. I'm not the only one that would.


Look, no one unravelled anything about their farming techniques. The Kolata theories are not supported by much. Not his fault. There isn't much to physically go on and no real oral or written tradition to refer to. I would take everything about the culture of the Tiwanaku people and put it in its own article and it would be stressed that these are all theories. Remember, it IS silly to say anyone has a solid idea of anything at Tiwanaku. Gingermint (talk) 07:04, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Bias against alternate theories[edit]

Although I don't agree with any theories concerning extraterrestrial influences on ancient civilisations so far, I think that describing it as a "fad" is inappropriate. The term suggests that the followers of these theories are credulous and that the theorists themselves are shallow and/or selective in their research and sources. This may or may not be the case, but as it stands one can construe a bias against the theorists in that part of the article.

Requesting a rephrasal. Astion 13:37, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

"fad" is hardly NPOV. OTOH, such theories hardly belong in an encyclopedia except as trivia, and Wikipedia discourages trivia. I suggest the paragraph be removed, or rephrased and other Tiwanaku trivia, such as the Kon Tiki, added, to balance. yamaplos 03:05, 1 June 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Yamaplos (talkcontribs)


Maybe its because one of my doctoral degrees is in History, but I always get annoyed when amateurs don a mantle of seriousness and officialdom. The nature of Tiwanaku is mysterious, and far more mysterious than presented in this article. One reading it would think the whole matter is sewn up. In reality, we know almost nothing of it. All the dates in this article are guesses. The people who lived there? Another guess. The idea that Space Aliens settled in Tiwanaku is, actually, no more outlandish I think, than anything else written in this particular article. 75.48.23.132 (talk) 06:32, 6 October 2009 (UTC)



There is a bias here and the article seems to have been written by some graduate student at the University of Chicago. Goodness knows, the article is plagued by the theories of a certain researcher there.Gingermint (talk) 19:23, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Dating[edit]

Info below moved from article for discussion. WBardwin 19:36, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Controversy abounds relating to the above information. Many more recent theories suggest that Tiwanaku (or Tiahuanaco) is actually the oldest city on earth, due to the fact that it is a port city, and yet 2000 feet above sea level. This implies that the city was created either at a point when the nearby Lake Titicaca was at a much higher level (some 9000 years ago) or that it was built at a time when the entire mountain range was at sea level (some 12000+ years ago). In the 1800s an archaeologist named Augustus Le Plongeon visited the area and noted a strata of sea shells in the surrounding bedrock, which would support this theory. There are also carvings of the woolly rhinoceros and a horse on surrounding buildings. Horses were totally unknown in the Americas when the spanish conquistadors arrived, and the Woolly Rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) has been extinct since roughly 20,000 BC! At any rate, Tiwanaku is a huge megalithic city in an entirely inhospitable area now incapable of supporting any large community, and the scientific community is vague at best on the details of when and by whom it was built.--Aatlae 14:48, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

These "alternative" theories are pure fantasies. Research into the Tiwanaku culture has been very intense in the last 10 to 15 years. There must be a ton of C14 dates from excavations in Tiwanaku itself, as well as in related areas where there were Tiwanaku colonies (i.e. the Osmore drainage). There has been nothing in the academic literature supporting the outlandish chronology. The above removed paragraph, if returned to the entry, should be tagged as the theories of psuedoscientists. What are the citations and evidence of Tiwanakuas a port city? Sea shells in the surrounding BEDROCK does not support the idea that Tiwanaku was built at sea level. SheldonLB

Yes, these "theories" are just old-earth creationist BS. Bueller 007 16:53, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
There are so many misstatement of facts in the above "info" that any serious archaeologist or geologist would regard it as being alternative fiction of the type written by either Eric von Daniken or Charles Berlitz. The errors and falsehoods to be found in the above paragraph include:
1. Tiwanaku (or Tiahuanaco) is not and never was a "port city". The so-called "docks" and "wharves" are nothing more than natural features which Posnansky misindentified as manmade structures. In addition, there is neither a relict shoreline nor ancient lake level with which these features can be associated.
The lake level history of Lake Titicaca is now known in great detail. Between 30,000 to 35,000 BP, ancient Lake Titicaca was at an elevation of 3,825 meters above sea level (asl) or 15 meters (49 feet) **below** Posnansky's "port structures". By 26,000 BP, the level of Lake Titicaca was 3,815 meters asl or 25 meters (82 ft) **below* Posnansky's "port structures". Between 8,500 to 26,000 BP, the level of Lake Titicaca never got above 3,815 meters asl and sometimes dropped below it. After 8,500 BP, the level of lake Titicaca dropped lower than its modern level and later rose back to its current level. Thus, it is impossible for Tiwanaku to have been a port at any time during the last 35,000 years, much less 9,000 years ago.
2 Dr. Augustus Le Plongeon is lost in time by tens of millions of years. The fossil seashells in the surrounding bedrock range in age from 70 to 350 million years. Unless a person wants to argue for a "theory" that Tiwanaku was built at sea level as a port city by either dinosaurs or trilobites, the fossil seashells found in local bedrock are meaningless as evidence for Tiwanaku having been at sea level at one time. The details of the age of these fossil seashells was known as far back as 1949 when Dr. Newell's "Geology of the Lake Titicaca region, Peru and Bolivia" (Geological Society of America, Memoir 36) was published.
3 The carvings of "woolly rhinoceros and a horse on surrounding buildings" exist only in the vivid imaginations of people, who have completely misidentified carvings because they are functionally illiterate in their understanding the of the motifs used by the prehistoric inhabitants of Tiwanaku. For example, one alternative author claims that what is clearly a carving of a parrot is actually a carving of an elephant.
4. The statement "Tiwanaku is a huge megalithic city in an entirely inhospitable area now incapable of supporting any large community..." was completely refuted by Kolata's studies of the raised bed irrigation systems. For some details, go read Raised Bed Irrigation at Tiwanaku, Bolivia and Putting Raised Field Agriculture in the Lake Titicaca Basin Ancient Agriculture Back to Work. One of many papers about raised bed agriculture is:
Kolata, Alan L., and C. R. Ortloff, 1996, Tiwanaku Raised-Field Agriculture in the Lake Titicaca Basin of Bolivia. In Tiwanaku and Its Hinterland: Archaeology and Paleoecology of an Andean Civilization, edited by Alan L. Kolata, pp. 109-152. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC
5 The statement "… and the scientific community is vague at best on the details of when and by whom it was built" is completely false as demonstrated by the publications listed in Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) Site Bibliography.
Also go read:
1. The age of Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) Site, Bolivia.
2. Analysis of Hancock's Position Statement on C-14 Dating
3. Tiwanaku: Alternative History in Action
4. Garrett G. Fagan: An Answer to Graham Hancock.
The problem with the above paragraph and many of the alternative theories about the age and origin of Tiwanaku is that they are readily refuted by a simple review of the published literature. Many are based upon misinformation, false claims, antiquated research, and ignorance of the data and interpretations, which have been published in the scientific literature over the last couple of decades.Paul H. (talk) 13:39, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Interesting points raised. I am just wondering what the C14 dates relate to though. Is it the dating of bones found at the site and/or of 'cultural refuse'? It wouldnt seem unreasonable to suggest that if what user: 'Aatlae' suggests - that Tiwanaku is older than some archeologists hypothesise - that C14 dating of bones or suchlike to AD300 (or whenever) can only be used as evidence that people were there at that time, it can't, logically speaking, preclude the possibility that 'people' (of whatever age or culture) inhabited the site before that. This of course applies to most archeological sites. Besides I think it far more becoming of us as wikiusers to consider other aspects of Tiwanaka instead using the site only as a means of insulting someone elses views and offering up little evidence in support of your insult. I was saddened to see that there are no entries on the article discussing the techniques the creators of tiwanaka used in its construction. Any ideas anyone? How does one cut 100 - 200 tonne stones with such accuracy, including the cut of the rear side of a slab from the rock?!, given the supposed tools of the pre-incas (or even the 15th century spaniards!). ?

Geoff86.130.194.90 15:02, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

I watched the documentary "The Mysterious Origins of Man". In it some archeologist named Neil Steede estimated the city as being 12.000 years old. I don't consider this documentary to be neutral at all, but it shows that there are alternative views. Maybe it's worth mentioning that not all scientist agree with the dating mentioned in the article. The text that was in the article was however written from the point of view that the city is definitely or very likely older than generally accepted. I think it should be rewritten so that its clear that some scientists (a minority) have other estimates for the city's age. /Jiiimbooh 15:52, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

It's my understanding that the ancient dates mentioned were based on astronomical calculations which specified that if certain structures in the city were designed to mark the solstice, they would have had to have been built 15,000 years ago when the solstice occurred at those points. Assuming his calculations are correct, even a layman like me can see that the "if...designed to mark the solstice" part is a very, very big IF, requiring a great deal of assumptions about the culture of the people who built the city, of which we know very little. This site http://www.csicop.org/sb/9603/origins.html seems to be saying that the theories presented on that show are not very good science. 69.95.236.234 (talk) 16:28, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Here is what the geologist Paul Heinrich says about this: "A real mystery about the Tiwanaku Site is that Posnansky (1943) clearly knew how badly trashed the Tiwanaku Site was when he mapped it. Yet, he disregarded these obvious problems and tried to date the site using archaeoastronomical methods that he should have known would produce relatively meaningless results. He simplistically assumes without any hard evidence that astronomical alignments were unaltered by the destruction that the Tiwanaku site has suffered. He also assumes without either the benefit of inscriptions or any ethnographic or other data that buildings were astronomically aligned to a high degree precision in specific directions." Doug Weller (talk) 17:20, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
There's a such thing as Old Earth creationism? Haha, anyways, I highly doubt the theories of Tiwanaku (or it's alternative spellings) are derived from them (rather, I hear it from those ancient astronaut theorists). Still, it's age is seen as being 2,000-1,500 years old or so, not 12,000, 17,000, or whatever. 98.198.83.12 (talk) 10:39, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

The site of Tiwanaku is far more mysterious than the present article suggests. Yes, there is a great deal of research on the area, but very little to actually go on and so no solid conclusions. Who lived there? A guess. How old is it? A guess. What kind of city was it? Was it by the great inland sea or just plopped in the dirt? No one knows. And that's the most annoying thing about this article. One reading it would believe everything written in it because, heck, it looks official enough. And it IS official enough. But these are official guesses. That's all they are. And there is nothing much to substantiate them. Really, this is a terribly mysterious place. We don't know how old it is. 1,500 years old? 17,000 years old? It's all a guess and that's one of the most satisfying things of Tiwanaku. Regarding this, I propose the entire article be re-written. It should be honest and not promote a favorite theory. That's exactly what this article does and it needs to be fixed. 75.48.23.132 (talk) 06:47, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

I don't think we should take Alan Kolata's theories as holy writ. There is every bit as much support for his ideas as there is for the Space Alien thing (with the exceptional difference that the Space Alien thing is more fun). And by "every bit as much" I'm saying: not a whole lot. In reality, we don't know how old the site is... at all. Gingermint (talk) 19:28, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Given the vast amount of speculation regarding this subject it is a major failing of the article to not address it all. Vadagh (talk) 18:08, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

In case of the Tiwanaku article, it is highly inaccurate and grossly misleading to claim that anyone is taking Alan Kolata's theories as holy writ. The primary papers and ideas about the dating of Tiwanaku are those of other archaeologists. They include:
  • Augustyniak, S., 2005, Dating the Tiwanaku State: Analisis Cronologico del Estado Tiwanaku. Chungara, Revista de Antropología Chilena. vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 19-35.
  • Vranich, A., 2006, The Construction and Reconstruction of Ritual Space at Tiwanaku, Bolivia: A.D. 500-1000. Journal of Field Archaeology 31(2): 121–136.
  • Yaeger, J., and A. A. Vranich, 2013, A Radiocarbon Chronology of the Pumapunku Complex and a Reassessment of the Development of Tiwanaku, Bolivia. A. A. Vranich, ed., pp. 127-146. Advances in Titicaca Basin Archaeology II. Levine Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, Los Angeles, California
  • Ziólkowski, M., M. Pazdur, A. Krzanowski, and A. Michczynski, 1994, Andes. Radiocarbon database for Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. Andean Archaeological Mission of the Institute of Archaeology, Warsaw University & Gliwice Radiocarbon Laboratory of the Institute of Physics, Silesian Technical University. Warszawa-Gliwice.
In addition, a discussion of the failure of past attempts to date Tiwanaku using archaeoastronomy can be found in:
  • Kelley, D. H., and E. F. Milone (2002) Exploring Ancient Skies: An Encyclopedic Survey of Archaeoastronomy, New York: Springer Science+Business Media, Inc., 616 pp.
The documentation provided in the above peer-reviewed publications, which all qualify as reliable sources by Wikipedia standards, soundly refutes any claim that the dating of Tiwanaku is a matter of speculation on the part of archaeologists.Paul H. (talk) 19:27, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Great points, wish this were at least mentioned in the article. You seem to misunderstand me, I'm not contending that the dates are in question, I'm saying that there's a lot of speculation out there and leaving it out completely is just way too dry and boring for an article about something so interesting. Myth, legend, pseudoscience, wild speculation... the fact is that's part of the heart and soul of this subject, why totally ignore it? Vadagh (talk) 17:36, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

No mention of any Bolivian researchers[edit]

Is it only Americans doing research that deserve being names? according to this article, that is the case. yamaplos 03:18, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Clearly not, as Oswaldo Rivera is mentioned and he is a Bolivian. DINAR is mentioned, I've added Escalante's name.--Doug Weller (talk) 05:37, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

There certainly has been a lot of work by Bolivians and it seems the only reason why Rivera was mentioned is that Kolata worked with him. I think there is a real bias in this article. Gingermint (talk) 19:30, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Suka Kollu article[edit]

The "cultural development" section is merely an exposition of the suka kollu theory. It should go to its own article, or maybe the section have suka kollu as title. yamaplos 03:18, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

And it should not be presented as solid fact. 75.48.23.132 (talk) 06:49, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Religion[edit]

This section needs a _serious_ rewrite.

The religion section admits it is 100% hearsay, from sources not necessarily related to the Tiwanaku culture except by interpreting lore of later cultures occupying the same territory. It's like interpreting Canyon de Chely lore from Lone Ranger radio episodes. What we know of Tiwanaku religion comes purely from archaeology. Anything else is speculation. It is highly reasonable to assume that Tiwanaku people did care about some of their dead, built massive structures that might have been temples (or not), and from the specific positioning of pottery shards uncovered at burial sites, apparently performed ceremonies during burial involving breaking a keru. Anything else went through at least 500 years of oral tradition trough the Inca culture before it was recorded by the Spaniard. yamaplos 03:18, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't think it is reasonable to assume anything much about the Tiwanaku people without a certain amount of evidence. There are a lot of ways to interpret what evidence is there... and there is not much. I think everything about the culture of the Tiwanaku people can be put in a separate article. An article that very strenuously emphasizes that what one is reading are theories. Gingermint (talk) 06:58, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

sources for colossal blocks[edit]

I added a brief descripption of colossal blocks and sited a source which is not well known however the history channel has also presented the same general information to confirm this but I can't remember which show or cite their sources so I put the best I know of. If any one has better sources please cite them.

Thanks Zacherystaylor (talk) 05:39, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi again. The problem is that your source is basically a tourist who heard the information from someone or read it somewhere else. Have you read WP:RS? I'm sure I can find something better, I'll have a look. Thanks for putting this on the talk page, that was a good idea of yours to do that. Doug Weller (talk) 06:08, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

He seems to be a tourist and a far fetched theorist however the fact based information on his site usualy agrees with other sources. as I said the history channel also reported something close to this they used the figure 400 tons not 440 but it was close. Other wise I wouldn't have posted it. thanks Zacherystaylor (talk) 07:59, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Both 400 and 440 ton figures for the maximum weight block is misinformation that has been mindlessly repeated by alternative archaeologists, popular web pages, tourist brochures, and television documentaries that fail to check their facts. The source, i.e. as cited in Mr. Hancock's "Fingerprints of the Gods", of this figure is not a reliable source being a travel guide that lists neither citation nor source for the existence of a 440 ton block at this site. If you want to check it yourself, the travel guide is:
Swaney, D, and R. Strauss, 1993, Boliviz: a Travel Survival Kit. Lonely Planet Publications, Hawthorn, Australia, 402 pp.
The largest stone block found at Tiwanaku is only 131 tons weight and was moved from a quarry 10 km away as noted by:
Browman, D., 1981, New Light on Andean Tiwanaku. American Scientist. 69, 408-419.
The Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku), Bolivia web page is an utterly unreliable source of any information about Tiwanaku. It contains all sorts of folklore, misinformation, and falsehoods about Tiwanaku, cites the alternative fiction written by Zecharia Sitchin as a serious source of information, and includes the fictional claims made about the Piri Reis map in it. This web page appears to contain more fiction than fact and is hopeless as a source of accurate information about this site. Paul H. (talk) 14:04, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
It is interesting that in the conversion from 100 short tons (200,000 lbs.)(English units) to kilograms (metric units), a person was to divide 200,000 lbs. by 0.4536 kg/lbs, instead of multiplying by it as should be done to get kilograms, the result would be 440,917 kg instead of the correct figure of 90,720 kg. Thus, the correct statement that there are stones blocks heavier than 100 (short) tons could have been transformed into the incorrect statement there are stone blocks heavier than 440 (metric) tons in converting English to metric units. Because of significant digits, 441 (metric) tons would have been rounded off to 440 (metric) tons. Paul H. (talk) 14:42, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks this type of misinformation is common among these colossal blocks. Which is why I've been calculating some my self when I had dimensions and type of stone. one of the densest stones if not the densest is granite at about 3 tons per cubic meter. marble or sand stone: 2.7 tons per cubic meter, limestone 2.5 tons per cubic meter, basalt 1.9 tons per cubic meter etc. 42 cubic meters or more seems more credible than 147 or more cubic meters. If you find dimensions please post those to. Since the math is relitively simple it would be nice if they showed it so that disinformation could be weeded out quicker. Little suprised the history channel didn't do it though but not a lot they have made similar mistakes also.

Zacherystaylor (talk) 05:34, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I added some confirmation and additional information from a published source that is much better I'm sure.

Zacherystaylor (talk) 08:06, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Tiahunaco as a Culture[edit]

This article is mixing the arqueological site and the whole culture. Maybe we shoud create another article about the culture. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Paranoidhuman (talkcontribs) 21:43, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Two problems exist in this.

1. The article mixes the archaeological site with the culture. 2. Nothing much is known of the culture.

Too many things that are ideas, theories and wild guesses are presented in this article as fact. I believe the entire article needs to be revamped. Gingermint (talk) 06:54, 6 October 2009 (UTC)


Section On Reconstruction of Kalasasaya[edit]

this section says that the reconstruction of the Kalasasaya by Carlos Ponce Sangines was incorrect, which is true (but does need a citation). however, their reasoning is incorrect. The original structure would not have had a "stonehenge" appearance. The photographs of Ponce's Excavations clearly show that some blocks along the base of the wall were intact. Furthermore, his excavations partially identified the levels of the internal platform. These two facts together suggest that the large monolithic blocks did, in fact, support an platform and would have been part of a large stone wall. Protzen and Nair 2000 - on reconstructing tiwanaku architecture, have also noted that many of the portions of the doorway are completely fanciful interpretations. Hotcha27 (talk) 20:10, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Bad Research[edit]

This article is based on a GIGANTIC amount of speculation. Poor research. As anyone who knows the site will attest, there is almost nothing known about this culture. The dates for it vary wildly and are based on a dizzying number of variables. More should be about the site itself and all the baloney about its alleged history must be eliminated. This is a place for facts, not wild speculation. And, I might add, not a place to espouse one's favorite theories or score points with their professor! 75.48.45.158 (talk) 07:36, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Sentence structure[edit]

The sentence "The regularity of elements suggest be part of a system of proportions." makes no sense, at least to me. Can anyone rephrase it to make its meaning clear? Thanks!

Ole Nielson — Preceding unsigned comment added by Skyhunk (talkcontribs) 06:23, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Dating of Tiwanaku Part 2 - edits by 198.188.96.4[edit]

Mr. or Mrs. 198.188.96.4, if you would look at the above section about the dating of Tiwanaku on this talk page, you will see that Posnansky's dating of Tiwanaku has been discussed in great detail and that it has been overwhelming rejected as being very badly flawed and quite worthless. At this time, his dating of Tiwanaku is only accepted by various fringe and alternative authors, who ignore numerous radiocarbon dates and other research that completely discredits Posnansky (1945)'s badly flawed attempt at dating the site. Go see:

Augustyniak, S., 2005, Dating the Tiwanaku State: Analisis Cronologico del Estado Tiwanaku. Chungara, Revista de Antropología Chilena. vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 19-35.

Kelley, D. H., and E. F. Milone, 2002, Exploring Ancient Skies An Encyclopedic Survey of Archaeoastronomy. Springer Science+Business Media, Inc., New York, NY 616 pp

Kolata, A. L., 1993, The Tiwanaku: Portrait of an Andean Civilization. Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Kolata, Alan L., 2003, Tiwanaku and Its Hinterland: Archaeology and Paleoecology of an Andean Civilization, Vol. 2. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.

Ziólkowski, M., M. Pazdur, A. Krzanowski, and A. Michczynski, 1994, Andes. Radiocarbon database for Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. Andean Archaeological Mission of the Institute of Archaeology, Warsaw University & Gliwice Radiocarbon Laboratory of the Institute of Physics, Silesian Technical University. Warszawa-Gliwice.

Keely and Milone (2002) above specifically found Posnansky (1945)'s dating of Tiwanaku to be "sorry example of misused archaeoastronomical evidence."

Finally, the Tiwanaku: Early Civilization of the South American Continent and Ancient Civilizations BC are fringe sources that do not meet the Wikipedia standards for verifiability (WP:VERIFY). They are not reliable, published sources that can be used as Wikipedia sources.Paul H. (talk) 14:21, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Architectural cramps[edit]

Wolfsangel? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 16:10, 27 January 2012 (UTC)


What date did Arthur Posnansky give for this site?[edit]

I'm a bit confused about what date Arthur Posnansky decided for the Tiahuanaco site. This page says 15,000 BP (13,000 B.C.) and the Arthur Posnansky page says 10,000 B.C. I examined the source given on this page responding to Posnansky's claims and they say, "...which he said indicated a date of 15,000 B.C" (Exploring Ancient Skies: A Survey of Ancient and Cultural Astronomy, page 460). Additionally, on what appears to be an online version of Posnansky's book, he calculates the age to be 15,000 B.C (http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/arqueologia/tiahuanaco/posnansky8.htm). I suggest that both pages be changed. 173.248.23.230 (talk) 21:53, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

The correction has been made to both pages. Thank you for reporting these errors. Paul H. (talk) 15:01, 4 August 2012 (UTC)


Archaeologically whishful thinking - facts please[edit]

See the trouble one should have with the following part of this artical? If you oppose the large text I cut and pasted, you have spotted the pain:

"An archaeologically based theory asserts that around AD 400, Tiwanaku went from being a locally dominant force to a predatory state. Tiwanaku expanded its reaches into the Yungas and brought its culture and way of life to many other cultures in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. However, Tiwanaku was not exclusively a violent culture. In order to expand its reach, Tiwanaku used politics to create colonies, negotiate trade agreements (which made the other cultures rather dependent), and establish state cults.[13] Many others were drawn into the Tiwanaku empire due to religious beliefs as Tiwanaku never ceased being a religious center. Force was rarely necessary for the empire to expand, but on the northern end of the Basin resistance was present. There is evidence that bases of some statues were taken from other cultures and carried all the way back to the capital city of Tiwanaku where the stones were placed in a subordinate position to the Gods of the Tiwanaku in order to display the power Tiwanaku held over many.[14]

Among the times that Tiwanaku expressed violence were dedications made on top of a building known as the Akipana. Here people were disemboweled and torn apart shortly after death and laid out for all to see. It is speculated that this ritual was a form of dedication to the gods. Research showed that one man who was dedicated was not a native to the Titicaca Basin, leaving room to think that dedications were most likely not of people originally within the society.[1]

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.[1] 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.[10]

The empire continued to grow, absorbing cultures rather than eradicating them. William H. Isbell states that "Tiahuanaco underwent a dramatic transformation between AD 600 and AD 700 that established new monumental standards for civic architecture and greatly increased the resident population." [15] Archaeologists note a dramatic adoption of Tiwanaku ceramics in the cultures who became part of the Tiwanaku empire. Tiwanaku gained its power through the trade it implemented between all of the cities within its empire.[13] The elites gained their status by control of the surplus of food obtained from all regions and redistributed among all the people. Control of llama herds became very significant to Tiwanaku, as they were essential for carrying goods back and forth between the center and the periphery. The animals may also have symbolized the distance between the commoners and the elites.

The elites' power continued to grow along with the surplus of resources until about AD 950. At this time a dramatic shift in climate occurred,[1] as is typical for the region.[16][17] A significant drop in precipitation occurred in the Titicaca Basin, with some archaeologists venturing to suggest a great drought. As the rain became less and less many of the cities furthest away from Lake Titicaca began to produce fewer crops to give to the elites. As the surplus of food dropped, the elites' power began to fall. Due to the resiliency of the raised fields, the capital city became the last place of production, but in the end even the intelligent design of the fields was no match for the weather. Tiwanaku disappeared around AD 1000 because food production, the empire's source of power and authority, dried up. The land was not inhabited again for many years.[1] In isolated places, some remnants of the Tiwanaku people, like the Uros, may have survived until today.

Beyond the northern frontier of the Tiwanaku state a new power started to emerge in the beginning of the 13th century, the Inca Empire.

In AD 1445 Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui (the ninth Inca) began conquest of the Titicaca regions. He incorporated and developed what was left from the Tiwanaku patterns of culture, and the Inca officials were superimposed upon the existing local officials. Quechua was made the official language and sun worship the official religion. So, the last traces of the Tiwanaku civilization were integrated or deleted."


  • "A theory asserts", followed by a huge story how it all went down. All assumption, whishful archaeologically thinking, and highly speculative. This is not science, this is filling in facts we don't know. Is stating "We don't know" really too difficult in cases as this one? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.163.123.150 (talk) 14:50, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
No one should have inserted "a theory asserts". I've reworded and sourced the firest sentence. It is clearly not all assumption but it can just as clearly be improved. Dougweller (talk) 15:42, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
The first two paragraphs have been in the article for over 3 years[1] with people adding sources. Probably a bad idea but pretty typical. It needs someone to rewrite it. Dougweller (talk) 16:21, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Population estimates of the Region[edit]

The most satellite imagery shows that there was in fact a much larger population in the area. The General region around the Altiplano supports almost ten million people now. However the fossilized agriculture is four times the area under cultivation today, at least. That would suggest a much larger population than exists in the region today. There hundreds of square kilometers of raised fields southwest of Tiwanaku. So the population may have been as great 20-40 million people. See: http://atlantisincanada.yolasite.com/great-cities-of-lake-poopo.php There were larger cities than Tiwanaku, but there seems to be no mention in the literature. Brian T. Johnston — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.12.146.130 (talk) 08:35, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Population estimates[edit]

The most recent satellite imagery shows that there was in fact a much larger population in the area. The General region around the Altiplano supports almost ten million people now. However the fossilized agriculture is four times the area under cultivation today, at least. That would suggest a much larger population than exists in the region today. There are hundreds of square kilometers of raised fields southwest of Tiwanaku. So the population may have been as great 20-40 million people. See: http://atlantisincanada.yolasite.com/great-cities-of-lake-poopo.php There were larger cities than Tiwanaku, but there seems to be no mention in the literature.

Brian T. Johnston — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.12.146.130 (talk) 08:38, 6 February 2014 (UTC)