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Trip Planner South America  /  Bolivia  /  La Paz Department  /  Tiwanaku

Tiwanaku

4.2
Ruins
Tiwanaku is a Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia.The site was first recorded in written history by Spanish conquistador Pedro Cieza de León. He came upon the remains of Tiwanaku in 1549 while searching for the Inca capital in Qullasuyu.The name by which Tiwanaku was known to its inhabitants may have been lost as they had no written language. The ancient inhabitants of Tiwanaku are believed to have spoken the Puquina language.StructuresThe area around Tiwanaku may have been inhabited as early as 1500 BC as a small agricultural village. During the time period between 300 BC and AD 300, Tiwanaku is thought to have been a moral and cosmological center for the Tiwanaku empire, and one to which many people made pilgrimages. Researchers believe it achieved this standing prior to Tiwanaku expanding its powerful empire.In 1945, Arthur Posnansky estimated that Tiwanaku dated to 15,000 BC, based on his archaeoastronomical techniques. In the 21st century, experts concluded Posnansky's dates were invalid and a "sorry example of misused archaeoastronomical evidence."The structures that have been excavated by researchers at Tiwanaku include the Akapana, Akapana East, and Pumapunku stepped platforms, the Kalasasaya, the Kheri Kala, and Putuni enclosures, and the Semi-Subterranean Temple. These may be visited by the public.
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