Tiwanaku, pre-columbian archaeological and world heritage site at Bolivia

Latitude / Longitude
-16.554774, -68.672442
The famous Ponce Monolith of Tiwanacu
The famous Ponce Monolith of Tiwanacu


Tiwanaku – Archaeological Sites – East Coast of Titicaca Lake – La Paz – Bolivia

Tiwanacu or Tiahuanaco was an ancient culture which began as early as 1500 BC, whose remains are located on an important pre-Columbian archaeological site in Bolivia, about 72 km from the capital, La Paz. This place is considered by UNESCO a World Heritage Site.

Among them there were no written language, all of its legacy is based on ruins and found objects, such as, pieces of ceramics and sculptures, monuments, foundations of buildings etc.

We can say they were an innovative people, worshiper of the Sun God.

Their life were based on cycles of plantations and crops.They invented a spectacular way of preserving harvests from being destroyed by unpredictable and frozen weather of the Andes mountains, by creating the “Sukakullos”, artificial little niches or mounds, today called “flooded-raised fields”. These techniques were the foundation of the expansion of their empire, which reached until areas of actual north Argentina, north Chile and south Peru.

Its main cultural legacy is to be precursor of great monumental buildings in South America. They used large stones weighing up to one hundred tons, tailored, notched and coated to be fit each other accurately.

Today all that remains to study this ancient civilization is this archaeological site, severely damaged, as has been subject of looting diggers in search of valuables since the time of spanish colonization.

Museum Tiwanaku has preserved skulls of ancient tiwanacus. At this civilization, children who had superior skill and intelligence were chosen to be priests and wise men and they had, through certain techniques and special preparations, theirs skull deformed and increased.

Some features of this site are:

– The Pyramid Akapana with seven levels, more than 20 feet tall and about 800 meters long;

– Temple of Kalasasaya and the Gateway of the Sun, the most famous temple of Tiwanacu;

– Monoliths Fraile, Ponce and the Bearded one;

– Underground Temple, adorned with hundreds of carved stone heads;

– Ruins of the Palace of the Sarcophagus;

– Puma Punku and its enormous and huge blocks of stone carved and decorated to build their temples.

You can read more about Tiwanacu at:

Wikipedia logo v2 eng1 - Tiwanaku, pre-columbian archaeological and world heritage site at Bolivia


visit the website of  unesco logo1 - Tiwanaku, pre-columbian archaeological and world heritage site at Bolivia.


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Photos, video and text by Marcelo Ozorio

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