Puma Punku and its many riddles

The discovery of Puma Punku

Tiwanaku is a Pre-Columbian archaeological site located on the Bolivian plateau to whose ruins, Austrian engineer and explorer Arthur Posnansky dedicated a large part of his research at the beginning of the 20th century.
What most attracted the attention of the scholar was an area of the village, where some stones were arranged vertically: it was therefore deduced that in that particular place, thousands of years before, there was an astronomical observatory.
Subsequent investigations by other researchers including the Italian Giampaolo Dionisi Piomarta, made it possible to discover another site, located a few hundred meters away, and now known as Puma Punku ("Puma Pumku" or "Puma Puncu"), a large complex of monuments whose name in Aymara language means "The Door of the Puma".

A complex and modern modular architectural system in pre-Columbian times

The blocks that make up the structure weigh up to 130 tons and seem to be the remains of countless buildings.
The peculiarity lies in the unusual shape of the stones, which have been worked in such a surgical way that they can be assembled together in different combinations thanks to metal staples (a strategy already used in the construction of the ancient city of Delphi).

Puma_Punku_H Blocks_profile_wall

As in a forerunner modular system, the so-called "H blocks" reveal an amazing precision both in the carving of the right angles and in the measurements of each element.
On their grooves, moreover, there are particular grooves that make possible a series of joints also used today and known as "dovetail joints".
There are no certainties as to who knows who designed and built this complex of sophisticated interlocking blocks and then disappear but the incredible technological refinement of its modular construction system is such as to suggest that it is the work of a non-terrestrial hand.

Between Ancient Aliens Theorists and Academic Researchers

The unknowns that revolve around Puma Punku have fascinated not only archaeologists and academic historians but also alternative researchers who investigate the possible existence of technologically advanced prehistoric civilizations or the Paleocontact theory.

According to some sources, the slabs of Puma Punku would be made of granite and diorite, an extremely hard rock, whose processing examples have been found in different cultures of antiquity including the Egyptians, who used diorite spheres to work granite and to make vases, scepters and inlays of remarkable quality, but also the Babylonians, the Assyrians and the Sumerians who used it as a basis for the inlay of inscriptions: the Code of Hammurabi is made on a 2.13 m high black diorite column.
However, it is unthinkable that in those days it was possible to work this material so finely or there was such knowledge as to manipulate the rock to the millimeter. Some stones have very high precision incisions and perforations in the rock, perfectly straight and thin (6 mm), as well as parallel, furthermore it seems that the diorite quarry closest to the site is at least 60 km away and this would add an additional unknown about how to transport blocks of similar weight and size: Erich Von Däniken talks about tools and technologies only available to ancient aliens such as levitation, anti-gravity and huge lifting vehicles.

Puma Punku and its many riddles-Example_of_Babylonian_Diorite_Boundary_Stele

There are those who argue that it would not be diorite but andesite and red sandstone, one easily flaking and the other workable and relatively soft, both of which can be found nearby.
As for the displacement, the hypothesis of traditional science is that many stones were carried with ropes and rollers and some others were equipped with grooves of several centimeters in width to be able to unwind ropes inside them; in addition, places called "Lifting handles" were built: thay made it possible to help the human being to position the stones in the best possible way and thus make them easier to handle.

There is another fact that has caught the attention of proponents of the Ancient Astronaut theory: some of these giant stones, rich in metals and minerals, would be magnetized by pressure waves to focused infrasound that cause magnetic fields to reverse. The compass reacted wildly to some of the gray stones, and the use of aTesla meter measuring micro teslas showed readings sometimes 20 times what the natural environment emits and the magnetism seemed somehow to relate to the shapes and surfaces of the cut blocks.
Did the original builders choose gray granite on purpose for its magnetic properties, or was it just a coincidence?
What if it were possible to change the trend of the magnetic flux and consequently the gravity? By altering the polarity of the particles that make up matter, it is possible to break up, loosen, soften the bonds between atoms and make the hardest of rocks malleable. Admitting this idea, the transport of the plates could have taken place through "Sonic Levitation" as the electromagnetic phenomena are wave phenomena, like sound waves.

Puma Punku and its many riddles-Puma_ Punku_Virtual_Recontruction

Who built Puma Punku?

According to local legends, the Tiwanaku temple was built to commemorate the arrival of the Gods from heaven to Puma Punku.
The Inca themselves denied building the Tiwanaku complex, in fact the Tiwanakan culture existed independently of the Inca, and from slightly before: the Inca origin myth records neary Lake Titicaca as the origin point of humanity.
They told that Viracocha, the god who had created the ancestral people then sent into the world to populate their respective territories and give rise to various human ethnic groups, began his journey from this place, until following much wandering, Cuzco became chosen as the birthplace of the Inca nation.

Puma Punku and its many riddles-Tiwanaku_Temple

According to Jason Yaeger, a professor of anthropology at the University of Texas, the city was already abandoned when the Incas conquered the area in 1470.
However, the newcomers managed to incorporate Puma Punku and the rest of Tiwanaco into their empire and in their culture by re-adapting existing structures to their ritual activities.
In fact, when the European conquistadors discovered the site, they asked the Incas who had built Puma Punku, getting this answer: "We did not build it and neither did our fathers. The ancient gods built it in just one night".

Variations of the legend say that Puma Punku was built by a race of giants in a single night after a great cataclysm destroyed the entire area.
One of the earliest chronicles we have about Puma Punku tells that these huge blocks of stone were moved and arranged floating through the air thanks to the sound of a trumpet, as if the inhabitants were aware of a particular technology based on sound waves or in possession of a particular object of unknown origin that in functioning emitted a sound similar to that of a trumpet and from this could derive the analogy made in the accounts of the time.

Puma Punku destruction

The other great mystery that hovers over the ruins of Puma Punku and Tiwanaku is the mystery of their end: looking at the ruins, one gets the impression of destruction that occurred following a catastrophic event.
In the case of Pumapunku the devastation is so extensive that it is almost impossible to recognize the structure of the buildings and there are only a few stones close to each other, while in Tiwanaku it is still possible to see some walls.
Given the geographical position in a highly seismic area of the site, scholars mostly agree the cause is an earthquake, however this hypothesis is not very reconcilable both with the wide scattering of the stone blocks found in the site and with the fact that the nearby Tiwanaku does not has earthquake damage unless Puma Punku is much older.
But if it was an earthquake, how did stone blocks weighing tons fly and distribute themselves all around the epicenter, as if there had been a giant explosion? And why was no crater from this explosion found? What energy made Puma Punku's buildings “explode”?

This and other questions could be answered in the future by the results of the research carried out by a group of archaeologists led by Domingo Mendoza, who in 2012 discovered an evident and extensive anomaly in the subsoil of Puma Punku. They believe it is an artificial chamber made by the site builders, possibly an imperial tomb, or an underground temple.
In a statement released to a local newspaper, Dr. Mendoza provided some details of the discovery: it is a space that is located at a depth of 4 meters, and then develops up to 11 meters. The chamber is 4 by 5 meters in size and appears to be empty except for a single large radar object, possibly a large sarcophagus.

The Dating Debate

Since it is not possible to perform the carbon-14 examination of the stone, the dating of the Puma Punku complex is still a subject of debate among researchers.

According to the results of the dating, performed on the organic material of the lowest and most ancient layer of the Puma Punku site, presented by the anthropology professor William H. Isbell, the site was built between 500 and 600 BC.
However, many believe the method presented by Isbell as extremely inaccurate and some architectural features of the site and a comparison with the adjacent Tiwanaku, would suggest a much older origin.

Puma Punku and its many riddles-Arthur_Posnansky

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Arthur Posnansky soon realized that the builders of Tiwanaku had built a gigantic astronomical observatory aligned with the Sun and the stars.
He observed that on the first day of spring, the Sun rose exactly in the center of the main gate of the temple.
Since the sun rises every day at a different point on the horizon all year round and on the first day of spring you can see the sun rise exactly in the center, these astronomical alignments allowed him to date the site: measuring the diagonal of the corner stones and comparing the angle to the current position of sunrise, Posnansky had come to the conclusion that Tiwanaku had been built at least 17,000 years earlier.
Subsequently, the archaeologist Neil Steede carried out a careful check of Posnansky's calculations, further improving them: since at the time of construction of the site the inclination of the earth's axis was slightly different from that of today, the winter and summer solstices would have arisen exactly above the corner stones.
Thanks to the most precise astronomical instruments that we have at our disposal today, he was able to affirm with sufficient certainty that the real dating of Tiwanaku dates back to 12 thousand years ago.


'A story was told by the local Aymara indians to a Spanish traveller who visited Tiahuanaco shortly after the conquest spoke of the city's original foundation in the age of Chamac Pacha, or First Creation, long before the coming of the Incas. Its earliest inhabitants, they said, possessed supernatural powers, for which they were able miraculously to lift stones of off the ground, which "...were carried [from the mountain quarries] through the air to the sound of a trumpet'.

-David Zink-The Ancient Stones Speak


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