The Tiahuanacu site is large and the sun unrelenting. Still, the section called Puma Punktu is a bit out of the way but should not be missed. It has the evidence that the whole hubbub about the Inca achievements is as much a product of the imagination as the alpaca products in the hands of a shoe-shining boy.
The famous carved figure on the decorated archway in the ancient (pre-Incan) city of Tiahuanaco, known as the "Gateway of the Sun," most likely represents Viracocha, flanked by 48 winged effigies, 32 with human faces and 16 with condor's heads. This huge monument is hewn from a single block of stone, and some believe that the strange symbols might represent a calendar, the oldest in the world. A huge monolithic figure, facing east in the direction of sunrise, stands as silent witness to an unknown civilization established around 2200 years ago.
The entrance side of the Portal of the Sun atop the Kalasaya mound. The entire upper panel is intricately carved with a repeating pattern of the images seen in the view above. The monolith has broken and was found partially downfallen in modern times. It has been restored to its original position. The fissure is visible above the right corner of the doorway
This is one of two large anthropomorphic figures standings in the southwest corner of the Kalasasaya Temple. This one faces the entrance and is placed on the central axis. The andesite stone used at the ruins was transported from 100 kilometers distance. The sandstone was quarried about 10 miles from the site. With the exception of the Sun Gate, it is the most picturesque of the sculptures at Tiahuanacu, since its 7-foot height is almost covered with hieroglyphic-like carvings. No one knows if these carvings represent a form of writing or are merely decorative. Should these carvings prove to be aform of symbolic writing, what a story they might tell! The statue popularly known as El Fraile is almost devoid of carvings
This monolith is located in the Kalasasaya, in the open air and faces west. Is not as big as Bennett's but is quite impreressive too...
It also represents what seems to be a white bearded man, with many symbolic carvings all around him.
This is the main temple here, and inside you will find:
- The Sun Gate
- The Ponce monolith
- The Fraile monolith
It is all surrounded by walls and oriented west... exactly to the Easter Island, where you can find also monoliths that are very similar to those found here...
You won't really see a pyramid here, but a hill at the right as you enter the ruins. Here is supposed to be this huge pyramid, similar to those in the aztec or mayan cultures.
Is not really much unerathed, in fact there is not even a path to climb. But if you go to the top, all you will see is a small pond and a few stone steles.
This 7,3 meters high monolith is also one piece stone and is totall covered by carvings with astrological, symbolic and calendar figures.
It represents its main God, Viracocha and is placed inside the main museum
This is probably the best known monument here and an icon of the place. It is a one piece stone of 9 tons, 3 meters high, 3,75 wide, with many carvings representing the Viracocha god, and a calendar with interesting signs.
It was found unfinished, and is thought to have been planned as part of a big temple.
There are 2 big museums in the site. The first is that where you buy the entrance ticket. There is a patio there with sculptures, and 2 rooms, one with medium size pieces and one with the huge and impressive Bennett monolith.
In the other museum there are many small pieces of ceramics and posters with explanations about the history and civilization of this people.