30 facts you didn’t know about Puma Punku
This temple complex located near Tiwanaku, Bolivia is one of the most incredible ancient ruins you will find in South America. At a distance of around 45 miles west of La Paz Bolivia we find one of the most magnificent ancient sites on the surface of our planet.
The sheer number of megalithic stones found at Puma Punku are amongst the largest found on the planet. Puma Punku shatters all traditional views on ancient cultures. The incredibly precise stones, precision cuts, and polished surfaces have defied explanation for centuries. The andesite stones used in the construction process of this megalithic site were cut with such precision that they fit together perfectly, and are interlocked with each other without the use of mortar.
This ancient site continues to defy the countless theories put forth by mainstream scholars, historians, and scientists. This ancient site—together with other sites like Teotihuacan in modern day Mexico, the Giza plateau in Egypt, Ollantaytambo, and Sacsayhuaman, among others—is what I like to call an ancient Wikipedia site since it offers us countless details about our ancestors, their lives, ability, knowledge, and skills.
In this article, we bring you 30 mind-bending facts about Puma Punku that you probably have never read about before.
This fascinating ancient ‘alien’ complex is located just 45 miles west of La Paz, high in the Andean mountains.
Puma Punku is located at an altitude of 12,800 feet—this makes it even harder to explain how the ancient quarried, transported and put into position the massive rocks as Puma Punku is located ABOVE the natural tree line, which in turn means NO trees grew in that area which means that no trees were cut down in order to use wooden rollers.
Furthermore, there is no evidence of the wheel in Tiwanakan culture.
Puma Punku is believed to date to around 536AD. However, many authors argue that the site is much older and could predate the Inca themselves.
Puma Punku was never complete. Experts argue that the site was abandoned before it was completely finished.
It is important to note Inca themselves denied building the Tiahuanaco complex which means that the Tiahuanaco culture existed INDEPENDENTLY of the Inca, predating them as well.
The ancient site of Puma Punku is part of an even larger complex that once belonged to the ancient Tiahuanaco culture, which predates the ancient Inca by millennia.
The sheer number of megalithic stones found at Puma Punku are amongst the largest found on the planet. The incredibly precise stones, precision cuts, and polished surfaces have defied explanation for centuries.
According to oral legends, the first inhabitants of Puma Punku were unlike ordinary humans and supernatural powers which allowed them to ‘carry’ megalithic stones through the air with the use of SOUND.
Among the largest stone blocks found at Puma Punku we can find one with the following characteristics: 7.81 meters long, 5.17 meters wide, averages 1.07 meters thick, and is estimated to weigh about 131 metric tons.
The second largest stone block found within the Puma Punku is 7.90 meters long, 2.50 meters wide, and averages 1.86 meters thick. Its weight has been estimated to be 85.21 metric tons.
The most famous features of Puma Punku are its so-called H-Blocks.
The H blocks at Puma Punku have approximately 80 faces each. The H blocks match each other with such an extreme precision that the architects most likely used a system of preferred measurements and proportions.
Archaeologists argue that the transport of these stones was accomplished by the large labor force of ancient Tiwanaku.
Several theories have been proposed as to how this labor force transported the stones, although these theories remain speculative. Two of the more common proposals involve the use of llama skin ropes and the use of ramps and inclined planes.
In addition to somehow transporting massive blocks of stone across great distances, the ancient engineers that built Puma Punku and Tiahuanaco were also adept at developing a civic infrastructure at this complex, constructing functional irrigation systems, hydraulic mechanisms, and waterproof sewage lines.
Furthermore, the blocks present at Puma Punku were so precisely cut as to suggest the possibility of prefabrication and mass production, technologies far in advance of the Tiwanaku’s Inca successors hundreds of years later.
Researchers believe that these two blocks of stone were quarried near Lake Titicaca approx. 10 km from Puma Punku.
Other stone blocks found at Puma Punku have been quarried near the Copacabana Peninsula about 90 km away from and across Lake Titicaca. So perhaps this is one of the biggest mysteries at Puma Punku.
Each stone at Puma Punku was finely cut to interlock with the surrounding stones and the blocks fit together like a puzzle, forming load-bearing joints without the use of mortar. The precision challenges today’s engineering abilities.
A common engineering technique is to cut the top of the lower stone at a certain angle and placing another stone on top of it which was cut at the same angle. What baffles scientists, engineers and archaeologists is the precision with which this was achieved. The precision with which these angles have been utilized to create flush joints is indicative of a highly sophisticated knowledge of stone-cutting and a thorough understanding of descriptive geometry.
Some of the joins we find at Puma Punku are so well placed, and so precisely locked into place that you wouldn’t be able to fit a paper in between them. The level of masonry we find at Puma Punku is just amazing.
In Aymara—an Aymaran language spoken by the Aymara people of the Andes—Puma Punku’s name means “The Door of the Puma”.
At Puma Punku you will find incredible stones with perfect right angles, almost smooth as glass, this makes Puma Punku unique. Only few places on earth display this type of stone work.
Tiahuanaco is located near Puma Punku, in fact, it’s less than a quarter mile northeast of Puma Punku. Scientists believe Tiahuanaco was once the center of a civilization with more than 40,000 inhabitants. Puma Punku and Tiahuanaco are part of a large temple complex or monument group.
At its peak, Pumapunku is thought to have been “unimaginably wondrous,” adorned with polished metal plaques, brightly colored ceramic and fabric ornamentation, and visited by costumed citizens, elaborately dressed priests, and elites decked in exotic jewelry.
The Puma Punku complex, as well as its surrounding temples, the Akapana pyramid, Kalasasaya, Putuni, and Kerikala, functioned as spiritual and ritual centers for the Tiwanaku.
Tiahuanaco is probably the greatest Native American civilization that many people haven’t heard of.
The Tiwanaku civilization—which Puma Punku belonged to—appears to some to have peaked from 700 AD to 1000 AD, by which point the temples and surrounding area may have been home to some 400,000 people.
Curiously, as many other advanced civilizations across the Americas, this culture seems to have dissolved rather abruptly sometime around 1000 AD, and researchers are still seeking answers as to why.
The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 146-167
Young-Sánchez, Margaret (2004). Tiwanaku: Ancestors of the Inca. Denver, CO: Denver Art Museum.
Vranich, A., 1999, Interpreting the Meaning of Ritual Spaces: The Temple Complex of Pumapunku, Tiwanaku, Bolivia.