July 5, 2014
On our last day in La Paz we decided to visit the ruins of Tiwanaku. An ancient city just south of La Paz inhabited from 300 AD to 1000 AD and known for its elaborate precision stone work. We took a one hour bus ride and toured the ruins for a few hours before returning to La Paz.
Along some of the walls were dozens of uniquely carved heads protruding from the stone walls.
Scattered throughout the ruins were statues ranging in height of around 10 feet to 24 feet.
Tiwanaku is famous for its delicate stone work. Many of the stones are cut so perfectly and smoothly that some think they couldn’t have been made by the local people thousands of years ago. We inspected many of the stones and found them to be cut or carved almost perfectly as well, with many delicate features like pictures or possible hieroglyphs painstakingly added. Many of the stones are as smooth as polished marble and there are many finely drilled holes which were once used to attach elaborate and massive thin sheets of gold. The gold seems to have mysteriously disappeared around the time the Spanish arrived, but many examples of fine stone work remain.
The perfect and seemingly impossible attention to details on some of the stones has led to many different theories about who made the city of Tiwanaku. Theories ranging from alien visitors, to time travelers, early undocumented European visits or supernatural beings.
After investigating the stones myself I am prepared to offer my own radical theory on would built the city, I think the Tiwanakians built it. While the stone work is indeed extremely precise and impressive, I don’t feel its anything beyond the abilities of stone workers who dedicated their entire lives to perfecting their craft, and probably spent months if not years working on a single stone.
After checking out the ruins it was time to hop on board a small van colectivo and head back to La Paz. We snapped a picture to show what the interior of a van with 17 people in it looks like.