Underwater Temple of Lake Titicaca
Written By Tripzibit on Dec 2, 2009 | 07:30
Many mysteries and legends shroud the shores of this high alpine lake on the border of Peru and Bolivia. Not only is Lake Titicaca the highest navigable lake in South America, it is the world’s largest mountain lake at 3,200 square miles (8,288 sq. km), and the second deepest alpine lake with a depth of 1,000 feet (305 m). Lake Titicaca has been a sacred body of water to South America’s indigenous people since pre-Inca times. According to Indian lore, the legendary god Viracocha arose from Lake Titicaca and went to Tiahuanaco to create the first Andean human being. It was long rumored that sunken temple existed at the bottom of the lake, and these rumors were substantiated when modern scientists explored its depths.
Scholars have long been intrigued by tales of ancient palaces seen by fishermen during dry spells when the lake level dropped, or of local Indians diving down and touching the roofs of stone buildings. Even early Spanish chroniclers recorded Inca stories of a great flood long ago and ruins on the lake bottom. Stories of the lost treasure were enough to draw the famous French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau to explore the lake. However, he discovered only ancient pottery.
In 1967, a scientific expedition authorized by the Bolivian government began exploring the depths of Lake Titicaca. National Geographic also launched an expedition in 1988. The ruins of an ancient temple have been found by international archaeologists under Lake Titicaca, the world's highest lake. More than 200 dives were made into the lake, to depths of as much as 30m (100ft), to record the ruins on film. The divers found high walls covered in mud and slime and eaten away by the brackish water. Not far from the shore, a number of paved paths led into the lake and connected to a large, crescent-shaped base. The finely cut stone paths, numbering 30 in all, were set with great precision into the ground in a parallel formation.
Divers went as deep as 30m explore the ruins
Another expedition in the year 2000 located and documented a 660-foot (200-m) by 160-foot (50-m) temple after following a submerged road, almost twice the size of an average football pitch in an area of the lake near Copacabana town. To date, no conclusive answers have been given as to who may have built the monuments before they sank. A terrace for crops, a long road and an 800-metre (2,600 feet) long wall was also found under the waters of the lake, sited in the Andes mountains between Bolivia and Peru. Dating back 1,000 to 1,500 years ago, the ruins are pre-Incan. The Incas also regarded the lake as the birthplace of their civilization, and in their myth, the Children of The Sun emerged out of the waters.
"They have been attributed to the indigenous Tiwanaku or Tiahuanaco people", said Lorenzo Epis, the Italian scientist leading the Atahuallpa 2000 scientific expedition. The complete findings of the 30-member team, backed by the scientific group Akakor Geographical Exploring. The lake has long drawn fascination with various legends around it, including one of an underwater city called Wanaku and another of Inca gold lost by the Spanish. The research involved 10 scientists from Italy, 10 from Brazil, five Bolivians, two Germans and a Romanian.
On May 28 2002 National Geographic News reported on the many recent discoveries underwater on the coastal shelves around the world :
"Ancient stories of massive floods pass from generation to generation and in many places in the world are integral to a people's spoken history. The tales differ by locale, but commonly feature either torrential rains or a hugely destructive wall of water bursting into a valley, destroying everything in its path. In many cases, the flooding is an act of retribution by displeased gods. Scientists, historians, and archaeologists view many of these enduring tales as myth, legend, or allegoric tales meant to illustrate moral principles. Recent findings indicate that at least a few of them could be based on real floods that caused destruction on an enormous scale."
The lower altitude terraces where corn could still grow are still at a level above Lake Titicaca. This means that the "pre-historic" peoples cultivating corn "lived" in the area "before" and "after" the numerous necessarily cataclysmic crustal deformations and uplifts that raised the Andes. The cataclysmic uplifts caused the terraces where the corn "was" successfully cultivated to be raised to an altitude where the corn would not grow. As the mountains rose cataclysmically the peoples terraced their cornfields successively lower down the mountainsides. There is a stone causeway leading "out" of Lake Titicaca. It has been speculated by some of your archaeologists that the area used to be at sea level and the causeway led out to the Pacific ocean. The causeway now leads out of the lake to nowhere at 9000 feet altitude.
There are stone "ruins" more "ancient" than the stone causeway leading out of Lake Titicaca. These "ruins" are buried under six feet of "sediment" on the shallow "bottom" of Lake Titicaca. The sediment contains "pre-historic" (more ancient than 12,000 B.C.) sea shell fossils. There was not enough topsoil on the peaks surrounding Lake Titicaca to have "eroded" down and "covered" these "ancient" ruins with six feet of sediment.
The six feet of sediment covering the "ancient ruins" around and under the present "water level" of Lake Titicaca was probably deposited by the "Biblical Flood" before the existence of Lake Titicaca. The huge Flood happened "pre-historically" when the land around Lake Titicaca was closer to sea level.
(Sources : Sacred Places Around The World : "108 Destinations" by Brad Olsen; http://www.thule.org/titicaca.html;
(Pics sources : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lake_Titicaca_map.png;
by Tripzibit di 07:30
Label: Ancient Temple, Biblical Flood, Great Flood, Hidden Cities / Lost Civilizations, Inca,
Cradled in the basin of the Peruvian-Bolivian altiplano, the Titicaca region is currently densely populated by the Aymara Indians, who eke out an agricultural existence, subsisting primarily on maize, frozen potatoes, and chicha, a fermented alcoholic beverage made of cornmeal.
The Tiahuanaco culture, as it is called, is unique in its sculpture and its style of stone construction. The figures depicted in the statuary have a rather square head with some covering like a helmet; they have square eyes and a rectangular mouth.
At the area called Puma Punku, which is about 1 mile distant from the principal part of the ruins, the gigantic stones are bluish-gray in color and appear to have been "machined", and they have a metallic ring when tapped by a rock.
It is interesting to observe the archaeological excavation work, which is under way at the site. At this altitude of 13,300 feet some of the remains are found at a level 6 feet below the earth's surface. The mountain ranges which surround the area are not high enough to permit sufficient runoff of water or wind erosion to have covered the ruins to such a depth. This remains a mystery.
At a press conference the Bolivian author stated,
"we can now say that the existence of pre-Columbian constructions under the waters of Lake Titicaca is no longer a mere supposition or science-fiction, but a real fact. Further," he added, "the remnants found show the existence of old civilizations that greatly antecede the Spanish colonization. We have found temples built of huge blocks of stone, with stone roads leading to unknown places and flights of steps whose bases were lost in the depths of the lake amid a thick vegetation of algae".
The Polish-born Bolivian archaeologist Arturo Posnansky has concluded that the Tiahuanaco culture began in the region at about 1600 B.C. and flourished until at least 1200 A.D. His disciple, Professor Hans Schindler-Bellamy, believed Tiahuanaco to have reached back 12,000 years before the present era, although a more conservative Peruvian archaeologist, Professor Kaufmann-Doihg, dates the site's flourishing at about 300-900 A.D.
We must go back, then, to the remnants of Tiahuanaco and reexamine the more than 400 acres of ruins, only 10 percent of which have been excavated. We have pointed out that dirt covers the ancient civilization to a depth of at least 6 feet. The only explanation for this accumulation is water.
A large amount of water had to have inundated the city; when it receded it left the silt covering all evidence of an advanced civilization, leaving only the largest statues and monoliths still exposed. It is logical to conclude, therefore, that Tiahuanaco was built before the lake was created, and not as a port on its shore. As the waters today continue to recede, we should be able to find more evidence of the city's remote peoples.
Scientists theorize that the area of Lake Titicaca was at one time at sea level, because of the profusion of fossilized marine life which can be found in the region. The area then lifted with the Andean upheaval and a basin was created which filled in to form the lake. No one has suggested the marine life might have been brought to the altiplano by sea waters which were at flood stage.
Peruvian legends clearly relate a story of world-wide flood in the distant past. Whether it was the biblical flood of Noah, or another one, we cannot say, but there is ample physical evidence of a universal inundation, with the world-wide deluge described in more than a hundred flood-myths.
- the Babylonian Utnapischtim of the Gilgamesh epic
- the Sumerian Ziusudra
- the Persian Jima
- the Indian Manu
- the Maya Coxcox
- the Colombian Bochica
- the Algonkin's Nanabozu
- the Crows' Coyote
- the Greek Deukalion and Pyrrha
- the Chinese Noah Kuen
- the Polynesian Tangaloa
Global doomsdays are conspicuous in the Hopi Indian legends, the Finnish Kalevala epic, the Mayan Chilam Balam and Popol Vuh, and in the Aztec calendar, the last of which predicts that our present civilization will be destroyed by "nahuatl Olin" or "earth movement," that is, devastation by earthquake. Due to Aztec cyclic theory this will become the fifth doomsday after the "death of the Jaguars," "the death of the Tempests," "the death of the Great Fire" (volcanism), and "the Great Deluge."
In my 1978 and 1984 trips to Peru I was impressed by agricultural terracing on the sides and very tops of the steep peaks. These appear to be the oldest - and now unused - portions of the terracing.
Pondering the logistics involved, I see no problem with the spring planting. It would not be difficult to carry a sack of seed to the mountain tops, scratch out some of the soil, and plant them. But then, I wondered, it must have been very tough in the fall to carry the harvest 2 to 3000 feet down to the valley floor.
According to him the large monolithic Sun Gate of Tiahuanaco was evidently originally the centerpiece of the most important part of the so-called Kalasasaya, the huge chief temple of Tiahuanaco. Its upper part is covered with a stupendously intricate sculpture in flat bas relief.
Professor Schindler-Bellamy and the American astronomer Allen have nevertheless continued to insist the sculpture was a calendar, though one of a special kind, designed for special purpose, and, of course, for a special time. Hence it must refer exclusively to the reckoning of that time, and to certain events occurring then. Consequently we cannot make the calendar "speak" in terms of our own time, but let it speak for itself - and listen to what it says and learn from it.
The result was a book of over 400 pages, The Calendar of Tiahuanaco, published in 1956. Thorough analysis of the Sun Gate sculpture revealed the astonishing fact that the calendar is not a mere list of days for the "man in the street" of the Tiahuanaco of that time, telling him the dates of market days or holy days; it is actually, and pre-eminently a unique depository of astronomical, mathematical, and scientific data- the quintessence of the knowledge of the bearers of Tiahuanacan culture.
The different forms of those units attribute special, very definite and important additional meanings to them, and make them do double or multiple duty. By means of that method "any number" can be expressed without employing definite "numerals" whose meaning might be difficult, if not impossible, to establish. It is only necessary to recognize the units and consider their forms, and find their groupings, count them out, and render the result in our own numerical notation. Some of the results seem to be so unbelievable that superficial critics have rejected them as mere arrant nonsense.
The "solar year" of the calendar's time had very practically the same length as our own, but, as shown symbolically by the sculpture, the earth revolved more quickly then, making the Tiahuanacan year only 290 days, divided into 12 "twelfths" of 94 days each, plus 2 intercalary days.
There was another satellite moving around our earth then, rather close, 5.9 terrestrial radii, center to center; our present moon being at 60 radii.
These are only a small sample of the exact astronomical information the calendar gives. It also gives the beginning of the year, the days of the equinoxes and solstices, the incidence of the two intercalary days, information on the obliquity of the eliptic (then about 16.5 degrees; now 23.5) and on Tiahuanaco's latitude (then about 10 degrees; now 16.27), and many other astronomical and geographical references from which interesting and important data may be calculated or inferred by us.
A few more facts revealed in the calendar are both interesting and surprising. As indicated by an arrangement of "geometrical" elements we can ascertain that the Tiahuanacans divided the circle factually astronomically, but certainly mathematically, into 264 degrees (rather than 360). Also, they determined, ages before Archimedes and the Egyptians, the ratio of pi, the most important ratio between the circumference of the circle and its diameter, as 22/7, or, in our notation, 3.14+.
We must take notice of the evident parallels with the markings of the Nazca Plain. We do not know the excellent tools they must have used for working the glass-hard andesite stone of their monuments, cutting, polishing, and incising. They must have employed block and tackle for lifting and transporting great loads (up to 200 tons) over considerable distances and even over expanses of water from the quarries to the construction sites.
I have so far dealt with some of the aspects of the Tiahuanacan world, namely those connected with the calendar as a monument of what Schindler-Bellamy describes as "fossilized science". But the calendar science-sculpture, and similar slightly older ones also found at the site, must also be regarded and appreciated from an aesthetic point of view, a great artistic achievement in design and execution, and an absolute masterpiece of arrangement and layout.
The most tantalizing fact of all is that the Tiahuanaco culture has no roots in that area. It did not grow there from humbler beginnings, nor is any other place of origin known. It seems to have appeared practically full blown suddenly.
The capture of the satellite and its later fall to the surface on our planet imposed great stresses on the earth. The gravitational pull caused floods and earthquakes until the moon settled into a stable orbit one-fifth of today's distance. Hence the "moon" draws the oceans into a belt or bulge around the equator, drowning the equatorial region but leaving the polar lands high and dry.
Thus the approach of the "moon" caused a world-wide deluge, effecting changes of climate and provoking earthquakes accompanied by volcanic eruptions. The "ring" left by the satellite after breaking into fragments caused a sudden drop in temperature of at least 20 degrees, which geologists recognize as a "decline" in temperature.
The record nevertheless shows that a far-advanced culture made a substantial attempt to plant its society at Tiahuanaco, wanting to revitalize this region which had already been devastated by floods caused by the close satellite. Their attempt eventually miscarried, because they had underestimated certain dangerous developments that ultimately happened contrary to all expectations and calculations.
- The Calendar of Tiahuanaco. London: Faber, 1956. [all by Bellamy]
- The Moon 's Myths and Man. London: Faber.
- The ldol of Tiahuanaco. London: Faber, 1959.
- The Atlantis Myth. London: Faber, 1948.