Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

May 31, 2013

TIWANAKU, AN IMPORTANT PRE-COLUMBIAN SITE IN SPANISH AMERICA




WELCOME TO THIS POST!


  SOME NICE FLOWERS FOR MY READERS!


 Flowers at Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

 Click to enlarge


Source:  Ricampelo, CC BY 3.0. Wikimedia Commons




TIWANAKU.


 LOCATION OF TIWANAKU CITIES


 
 Click to enlarge


Source: Saysi, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons




This famous site is recognized as a precursor of the Inca Empire. The ruins of this city state are located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, quite near to the modern day city of La Paz.


Due to its location, the indigenous inhabitants of Tiwanaku could count on key resources such as fish, birds, plants and grazing grounds for the llama camelids.


One of the factors that made this city state so great was the ability of the inhabitants to control the rainfall and to use it in their farming.


The very high altitudes of the Titicaca Basin, with its sharp drops in temperature and the frequent risk of frosts, required the development of the farming technique known as “flooded-raised fields” which were called suka kollus. 


For this specific kind of farming, artificially raised long mounds were constructed, separated by canals that were filled with water. The canals supplied moisture for the plants that were developing on the mounds, but also served as thermal insulation, because they absorbed the heat from the sun during the day and emitted this heat during the very cold nights.


In addition, the canals were also used to farm edible fish, and the sediments were then scraped up and used as fertilizers.


In recent years, many of these suka kollus have been observed through satellite views of their fossilized outlines, and the researchers have been amazed by the enormous potential for food crops their overall area represented during the height of the Tiwanaku expansion period.


The Tiwanaku Empire continued to grow and develop, and by about 700 AD had become an important power, as well as an efficiently organized religious center, which had gradually absorbed all the smaller cultures that surrounded it.


The stability of this empire was based on the power wielded by an elite, and the members of this elite were the controllers of the food surplus that was produced by the highly technological “raised mounds and canals” system. The control of the herds of llamas was also very significant, because these beasts were used for transporting food to all the corners of the now extensive empire.


At the height of its development, the Tiwanaku culture extended over southern Peru and Bolivia, and the northern areas of present day Chile and Argentina.


TIWANAKU IN BOLIVIA



Click to enlarge


Source: Dbogger, Public Domain,. Wikimedia Commons




SOME IMPORTANT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AT TIWANAKU TODAY.



Excavations have been carried out at the Akapana, Akapana East and Pumapunku. All three are basically platforms with steps. Other important sites are the Kalasasaya and the Semi-Subterranean Temple. These structures can be visited by the present day tourists.


All these monumental structures were based on the use of rectangular ashlar blocks and provided with very refined drainage systems. The ashlar blocks show very fine joins between them because the masonry know-how that was employed was really extraordinary. 


The characteristics of these monumental structures have lead researchers to believe that the Tiwanaku architects used elements of advanced descriptive geometry and were very proficient with the concepts of the theory of proportions.


One of the most impressive features of Pumapunku is the stone terrace known as the “Plataforma Lítica”. Within this terrace is the largest ashlar block found so far at Tiwanaku, calculated to weigh 131 metric tones. The second largest block has been calculated at 85 metric tons.


The Kalasasaya is famous as the site of the Gateway of the Sun, a huge monolithic structure.


THE KALASASAYA TEMPLE


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Source: Marc Davis, CC BY 2.0. Wikimedia Commons



THE ENORMOUS GATEWAY OF THE SUN




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Source: jmage, CC BY 2.0. Wikimedia Commons



CLOSE-UP OF THE FRIEZE AT THE TOP OF THE GATEWAY OF THE SUN






The figure is thought to represent the God Viracocha, the Supreme Creator



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Source: swifant, CC BY SA 2.0. Flickr

 

THE END OF THE TIWANAKU EMPIRE.



Around the year 950 AD, there was a dramatic change in the climatic conditions of the Titicaca Basin. It is thought that there was a great drought that practically eliminated the rains in the area. As food production dropped, the elite’s power began to decline. By 1000 AD, Tiwanaku had disappeared, to be gradually replaced by the rising power of the Inca culture to the north. 


By the 13th century, the Inca Empire was dominant in the region. In 1445 Ad, Inca Pachacuti Yupanqui conquered the Titicaca area, incorporating what was left of the Tiwanaku culture into the Inca Empire. 


The Tiwanaku civilization was no more.



PUMA PUNKU 

 

H profile blocks, part of a major wall

Click to enlarge


Source: Janikorpi, CC BY 3.0. Wikimedia Commons




 
SPANISH VERSION





(This Blog is bilingual).





En este post me he referido al sitio arqueológico precolombino de Tiwanaku, que se ubica a orillas del Lago Titicaca, bastante cerca de la moderna ciudad de La Paz en Bolivia.


Esta ciudad estado se transformó gradualmente en un poderoso imperio. Un elemento esencial de su desarrollo fue la habilidad de sus habitantes para controlar una serie de elementos que contribuyeron al desarrollo de su agricultura.


Eran especialista en las técnicas centradas en el uso de las “camas altas provistas de canales de regadío”, que ellos llamaban suka kollus. Para tales efectos, construyeron largos lechos de plantación en altura, separados por canales de regadío. 

El agua de los canales no sólo proveía de humedad a las plantas, sino que además absorbía los rayos del sol durante el día y durante la noche emitía gradualmente el calor retenido en el agua, contrarrestando de esta forma el peligro de las heladas.


Además, los canales permitieron las cosechas de peces comestibles y los sedimentos eran retirados y usados como fertilizantes en lo alto de los lechos de plantación.


En el presente ha sido posible distinguir la extensión de los suka kollus mediante las tomas satelitales de sus contornos fosilizados. Los investigadores han quedado admirados por la enorme extensión que cubrían. 


Hacia el año 700 AD, El Imperio de Tiwanaku se había transformado en un poderoso y bien organizado centro religioso que había absorbido prácticamente todas las culturas menores de sus alrededores.


La estabilidad del Imperio se basaba en el poder centrado en el grupo de elite que controlaba los excedentes de los alimentos producidos por la mano de obra común, en el sistema altamente tecnificado de los suka kollus

También era muy importante ser dueño de grandes manadas de llamas, ya que eran las bestias de carga mediante los que se transportaban los alimentos a todos los rincones del área bajo el dominio de Tiwanaku.


En la cúspide de su desarrollo, Tiwanaku dominó toda el área del sur de Perú y de Bolivia más el norte de Chile y  Argentina.


En el post se mencionan también las estructuras  arquitectónicas más importantes que han sido excavadas a la fecha, resaltando el alto grado de perfección de la masonería de grandes bloques monolíticos.


El eclipse la cultura Tiwanaku se produjo debido a una dramática variación en el clima alrededor del año 950 AD. La élite perdió su poder al no contar con los grandes excedentes de alimentos, y Tiwanaku comenzó a declinar. Su desaparición total se produjo hacia el año 1000 AD para ser reemplazado por el Imperio Inca.



More about similar topics in a future post.     Más sobre temas similares en un próximo post.





LANGUAGE TIPS FOR ENGLISH



Words that go together!  *  Do her a favor  - * Catch your attention  - * Pay a visit   - * Save us the trouble   – * Right on time 





LANGUAGE TIPS FOR SPANISH.



Expresiones de uso frecuente: * El tiempo lo cura todo - * La abundancia mata la gana  - * La distancia es el olvido 





How is your level of comprehension?    ¿Cómo está su nivel de comprensión?





© 2013  joanveronica  (Joan Robertson)





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