Arthur Posnansky, followed by Kurt Bilau have proposed a date of circa BC as the date of fall of Tiwanaku. There are also reports of pre-Incan structures. La obra de Phelipe Guamán Poma de Ayala “Primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno.” (Escrita entre y ) by Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala(Book). Archaeologist, engineer and director of Bolivian cinema of Austrian origin born in Vienna in and died in La Paz in Its activities.
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Since olden times and also in our day, the question regarding the age of Tihuanacu is one which has fascinated scholars and laymen alike.
Arthur Posnansky – Wikipedia
Since these ruins were already debris in the period of the Inca Empire, capricious commentaries and conjectures were made about their existence and the men who built them, and especially about their age. Thus it is that until a little while ago, the chronological aspect of Tihuanacu constituted an almost indecipherable enigma. Only after conceiving the idea of investigating the age of these remains of human activity in prehistoric America, the most notable ruins which have come down to us, and using astronomical resources to this end, has a slight ray of light penetrated this mystery.
It is not a new thing to study the age of archaeological monuments by astronomical means. Much before and also after the studies undertaken by the author begun before scholars and others who laid claim to such a title, thought of determining the age of the remains of remote periods through the principles of astronomy. Studies of this sort have been carried out on the monuments of Egypt, Asia, Europe and England. Perhaps the person who carried out this class of investigations with most skill and understanding was Sir Norman LockyerPresident of the Physical Solar Observatory of London, who, inin his detailed work “Stonehenge and Other British Stone Monuments”, supplied the necessary foundation for the methodological investigation of the epochs in which there were constructed the monuments of remote antiquity.
As for the author of this present work, as we have already pointed out, his first investigations in regard to the age of Tihuanacu, were carried out around the year Then in the year and later, after having amplified in Europe his astronomical and geodetic knowledge, he brought forward new studies, which show evidence of a greater depth in regard to the age of Tihuanacu.
Through the facts expounded in the preceding chapters, it has been proven beyond all doubt that the temple Kalasasaya was a true solar observatory located on the astronomic meridian, and at the same time a magnificent stone calendar. For reasons also set forth in previous chapters, it has been noted that when the observer stands at the center of the west wall of Kalasasaya of the Second Period, the north and south pillars of the east wall are so located that the sun would rise at the solstices on the outer corners of these pillars.
Also approximately at the center of the building, let us say at the middle of the monumental perronthe sun appears on the morning of the equinoxes. However, if we examine this phenomenon with precision instruments, we note a difference of approximately eighteen angular minutes, which represents the change in the obliquity of the ecliptic between that of the period in which Kalasasaya was built and that which it has today.
This difference has served as the basis for the calculation of the age of Tihuanacu. From what has been discussed in previous chapters, there is not the least doubt that this building was indeed built on the astronomic meridian and its angles were the points marked exactly by the amplitude of the sun between the solstices.
These few introductory words will explain to the reader in a summary fashion how the basis for calculating the probable age of Tihuanacu was obtained.
However, in practice, the question is not as adturo as the foregoing lines might indicate. Our colleague during the yearsProfessor Dr. Since we have carried out studies on this subject before and after the years mentioned above, we should treat this thorny material anew in the present chapter. We repeat that as a basis for the hypothetical calculation of the age of Tihuanacu, or rather, for the investigation of the approximate age of these ruins, there posnanskky been used.
As we have said, the building was posnansyk, during the period of its apogee, exactly on posnanskg astronomical meridian, and this is an orientation which it preserves almost exactly today. In the light of what has been set down before, it is not possible to doubt its purpose. We repeat once again that the calculations with regard to the age of Tihuanacu are based solely and exclusively on the difference in the obliquity of the ecliptic posnansmy the period in which that great temple was built and that which it has today.
The calculations based on this figure indicate a rather old age in the light of our manner of thinking today in archaeological matters; if there were not many other coefficients, not astronomical but of another sort, which corroborate in an unequivocal and unquestionable manner the enormous age of Tihuanacuand posnahsky we shall discuss at the end of the present chapter, it would not have been worth while posjansky go so deeply into the astronomical studies which took more than a quarter of a century of the writer’s life.
The aforementioned difference of eighteen angular minutes noted in Kalasasaya is the basis for our calculations and this coefficient was applied to a curve constituted on the basis of the formula of extrapolation recommended aruro the Artugo Conference of Paris in the year and which is as follows: If this curve should vary with future studies and trials in the coming centuries of exact astronomy, then the calculation in regard to the age of Tihuanacu would also vary.
However, in any event, even leaving aside the calculation by astronomical methods, the age of Tihuanacu, a figure somewhere beyond ten thousand years the age of the Second and Third periods wrturo always be, on posnsnsky basis of geology, paleontology and anthropology, very great no matter by what method or standard it is judged.
With regard to the first, or prehistoric, period of Tihuanacu, as we have decided to call it, this is much more remote and we do not have, because of the present state of science, any basis for establishing astronomical calculations; rather, we can use only a geological basis for the determination of the period in which it was built, a method which does not make it possible to express its age in figures, but only to lay down a hypothetical affirmation of a geological epoch and this also only within the limitations inherent to the present state of our knowledge in this field.
In arhuro light of posmansky foregoing, we shall begin at once the application of astronomical science to the discovery of the approximate age of Tihuanacuby means of the calculation of the age of the Temple of the Sun of Kalasasaya. In order to know the difference in the obliquity of the ecliptic of that time, and today, it would be necessary to know in the first place, how great is the amplitude of the sun marked on this temple and other data which we shall enumerate at once.
The total length of Kalasasaya from east to west without posnanskt balcony wall is: The total width from north to south is: The average of our many observations of the angle of solar amplitude established by the priest – astronomers in the Kalasasaya of the second period is: The difference between the amplitude marked raturo the Sun Temple Kalasasaya and the amplitude in is 36′ 24″.
This figure would be the base to apply it in the curve which is constructed, according to the formula of the International Conference of Ephemerids in Paris inwhich is as follows: The curve which is constructed on the base of the previous formula is the one which follows in Fig. This value touches posnanskky curve where the ordinate-axis and the abscissa-axis cross each other. This figure would constitute the probable age of Tihuanacu in the “Second Period” and some what less in the “Third Period.
To those who wish artudo know what our working companion, Dr. These in the main have proceeded in a parallel fashion, since for more than two years we have discussed the different “working hypotheses”.
And now to return to the method which the priest-astronomers of Tihuanacu may have used, we should call attention to an extremely important fact. A few years ago upon the occasion of the visit of the Prince of Wales, posnansyk automobile road was built to cross the ruins; this road passed over the point where the aforementioned priests must have made their observations, or the center of the west wall of the Second Period.
Pksnansky fact which must be taken into account arturp that when at the present time during the summer solstice one observes the sun toward the south pillar of the east wall, the slopes of the hill Pownansky cross his line of vision as is seen in the small accompanying drawing, Fig. But this is the case only at the present time, because the terraces of the artificial hill of Akapana which formerly were supported by retaining walls, are crumbled.
It is to be noted that at that time the line of sight passed perfectly through the reentrant angle of the first terrace and that was especially the case when the observation point at the center of the wall of the Second Period was at a height, as in fact it was, as is indicated by the above mentioned base which was discovered.
Moreover, on the basis of the geological studies mentioned in one of the preceding chapters, it is presumed that the horizon in the east was, if not completely free, at least lower than at the present time.
Arthur Posnansky |
And we repeat that before they would have ventured to construct a building of the magnitude of Kalasasaya, they had, in another place where there was a free horizon, a small observatory where they carried out their original observations and from where they would have been able to bring the angle of amplitude for the final Kalasasaya, Fig. Since we have exhausted the subject of the astronomical angles of the Second Period of Tihuanacu, it is necessary to consider the angles of the construction which is within the Kalasasaya of the Third Period.
As it has been demonstrated with abundant material in the preceding paragraphs that in the interior of Kalasasaya there exist remains of relatively modern constructions which, with the present balcony wall, belong to the Third and Last Period of Tihuanacu, it is absolutely necessary to consider the astronomical angles which it contains.
We have seen before, that in the interior of the temple another small Kalasasaya exists in the form of a little subterranean shrine See Map. Ill with stair case designed walls in its interior, as best can be judged from the scant extant remains available when these ruins were first studied at the end of Even today, after a devastation of forty years, some remains are still found, although they are not as abundant as in that period.
The most important thing in this little shrine, which we have decided to call “sanctum sanctorum”, is, in the first place, a block of trachyte which now is split, located in the most prominent part of the place and which until now we have called “observation block”, fig 26 Fig The accompanying figure No. This we published in a communication sent to the Twenty-third International Convention of Americanists, meeting in New York City that same year.
Observing from this block the corner stone to the north Fig. But the most interesting thing is that if one observes, at a distance of five meters toward the west of the aforementioned observation block, where there are still remains or a construction, the centers of the Kalasasayas 98 of the west balcony wall, one notes that the sun sets in the center of the pillars “A” and “K” at the solstices and on the dates noted on the accompanying diagram.
This is an important fact and one which leads to the conclusion that this structure which we have called the “sanctum sanctorum” was the solar observatory of the Third Period of Tihuanacu. The astronomical angles are, with some slight difference, almost the same as those of the Kalasasaya of the Second Period. This is the case because the length of the “sanctum banctorum”, taking as a basis the north corner block of the no longer extant east wall and the block of trachyte which we have been calling “observation block”, is On the basis of the above length and width of the “sanctum sanctorum”, the index of the latter is 89 instead of the 91 of the exterior building of the Second Period.
From this fact it can be presumed that no great space of time intervened between one period and the other. In the interest of future verifications which may follow those already carried out, we give in Fig. In spite of this, we are convinced that the way has been opened for the study of the stone calendar and the foundations laid for the calculation of the age of Tihuanacu.
We feel, also, that our observations will be of help to those who in the future, establish themselves in the region under study, and having the necessary time and resources, face the study in all its amplitude, correcting errors which we may have made, and thus shedding greater light on the purposes for which that magnificent temple and stone calendar was constructed and on the age of these notable ruins.
Now that we have considered in this chapter the hypothetical age of Tihuanacu, it will be necessary to consider also other aspects which, although not of an astronomical nature, corroborate and reinforce further the presumption of the extremely old age of the metropolis of American man.
They are the following: It is evident beyond a doubt that the inhabitants of Tihuanacu knew animals now extinct, which they reproduced faithfully by stylizing them on their ceramics and other plastic works. This fauna possibly disappeared at the end of the last period of glaciation on the Altiplano, as is shown by the alluvial strata. Certain human crania found in the deepest strata of Tihuanacu, especially one which is located in the Museo Tihuanacu of La Paz marked No.
Posnansky, Arthur 1873-1946
One of the decisive proofs of the age of the man of Tihuanacu, is the subterranean dwelling. In that age, especially in the first period, they did not yet build houses; their temples were semi-subterranean buildings. This primitive custom still persists in the Second and Third Periods, in which even those of the ruling class who lived on the island surrounded by the moat, lived in tiny dwellings where they remained and slept in a squatting position.
Up to this time four of these have been found in almost intact form and before our studies two more were found. There is no doubt but that if sensible excavations were carried out, various others would be discovered. It is not possible to hold to the belief that the primitive American man who until then lived in caverns and subterranean caves, would come out of them and immediately construct his dwellings on the ground.
It was necessary and it is logical to suppose that there would be a period of transition between the two forms of dwelling and this is seen in the completely subterranean dwelling that we have in Tihuanacu. An identical evolution is witnessed in centers of archaic civilization in Peru, especially in Katoc and in Chavin de Huantar.
Another of the factors which influenced human development in Tihuanacu is the climate. Had this metropolis been built at an elevation above sea level like that found today, it would have had an inclement climate and one unsuitable for human life, as is seen in that of the present time, with its atmospheric phenomena so injurious to the development of agriculture and cattle raising.
Under such circumstances it would never have attained the extremely dense population that it had in past epochs. The climatical cingulum has changed from the period of the apogee of this civilization to the present time.
The northern part rose and the southern part suffered a great fall. We consider this matter in greater detail in another of our works.
The fauna and flora changed radically from the epoch of splendor to our time. This can be proven by the remains of marine fauna found at the present time in Lake Titicaca and in posnqnsky clays of the subsoil of Tihuanacu.
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It is unquestionable that the great Andean lake formed by the meltings of a glaciation existed in the Second and Third Periods, and that in the previous period this lake was very small much smaller that at the present time. On its banks there exist man-made constructions which have been revealed by the enormous and final fall of the lake.
The erosion of the blocks of the First Period which are exclusively of red sandstone and of their very primitive sculptures on a calcareous volcanic tufa, show an abrasion extending over thousands of years.
This arhuro the case although perhaps also for thousands of years they lay covered by alluvial mud which later, little by little, was washed away by the torrential rains which have for the most part revealed them.
Even the blocks of extremely hard andesitic lava of the Second Period, especially those of the east facade of Kalasasaya Fig. The blocks of red sandstone of the external north and south walls of Kalasasaya, which when they were constructed, had a regular form, were rather well carved and covered with ideosymbolic inscriptions on the inside, which is shown by a fragment saved by chance, Figs.
All these artur make evident the enormous lapse pownansky time which separates us from the period in which they were erected and carved. It seems, moreover, that a certain number of them were reconstructed and renovated during the Third Period, a period in which use was made of the works of former times.
Erosion is quite evident in psonansky ruins of Puma-Punkuso-called today, but which in our opinion constituted in that epoch the Temple of the Moon. There one can study clearly “by periods” the wearing away due to erosion. There one sees, for example, the monumental south platform of the First Period which shows such erosion that it arturl the appearance of a rough stone just removed from the quarry, since the details of the staircase embossments are almost completely erased; the other platform to the north shows an abrasion not yet so complete.
Between these platforms one finds two more which, in our opinion, come from the Second and Third Periods.