The Back and
side inscriptions on the Pokotia Monolith
by Dr. C.A. Winters
The Pokotia monolith was discovered by,
...on January 4, 2002.
This discovery and other research done
by these scientist is supported by the Honorable H. Enrique
Enrique Toro, President of the Congress of Bolivia.
Originally it was believed that there was an inscription written
only on the front legs of the monolith, further research indicated
that there was also an inscription on the back of the statue and
directly below the left hand of the figure.
Inscription on back
of Pokotia Monolith
The researchers also found another
inscription under the hand of the Pokotia figure.
Inscription under the
hand of the Pokotia Monolith
The inscriptions on the Pokotia figure
are written in the Sumerian language. The signs used to write the
messages on the Pokotia monolith were non-ligature Proto-Sumerian
The inscription under the hand on the
Pokotia figure is very interesting. It consist of twelve signs.
Transliteration: Mi Putaki Zi yu
u ka ka mi i kabei
Translation: "The oracle Putaki
conducts man to truth. (This) esteemed (and) precious oracle
to sprout esteem, (now) witness (its) escape".
The Decipherment of the back inscription
of Putaki is below. The writing on the back is written in
The language used to read the
inscriptions was Sumerian.
"Proclaim the establishment of
character. The strong father (Putaki) to send forth the
divination. Strong wisdom (in this) phenomenal area of the
deity's power. Capture the speech (of the oracle) .
is) very strong to benefit (and) nourish the sprouting (of)
character. Tell human being(s) (the oracle's) benefit. The
oracle to open (up) much (benefit for all)."
"The ideal norm (is the) oracle (of
Putaki). (This) oracle is (in) a phenomenal area of the deity's
power". Distribute to all humanity (the divine decree). Snare a
portion (of the) pure voice. (The oracle to) send forth
gladness. Agitate the mouth (of the oracle), to send forth the
divination. The diviner speaks good."
"The ideal norm (is this) oracle.
(This) oracle (gives) divine decree. Distribute to all humanity
(the divine decree). Snare a portion (of the) pure voice. (The
oracle to) send forth gladness. Agitate the mouth (of the
oracle), to send forth the divination. The diviner speaks good."
"The divine decree to become visible
and glisten (from the oracle's own) mouth. Open up the
divination. Agitate the oracle (to) send forth (now) wisdom and
Open (the oracle) to distribute the divine decree
(for all it is) lawful and righteous Good. Send forth the
sustenance of the pure oracle. Stand upright (Oh oracle) to
appear as a witness speaking purity. The oracle (of Putaki) to
open (up and) send forth gladness and character".
"(Putaki) speaks (in) true measure,
to send forth gladness (for all). Send forth nourish(ment). (The
oracle Putaki is) the father of wisdom (and) benefit (for all).
(The oracle) to become a visible witness of the diving decree
and knowledge. (This) pure oracle speaks the divine decree (and)
makes (it) a visible witness (of the deity's power)."
The inscriptions on the back of the Pokotia statue define the role
of the Putaki oracle in the community.
It would appear that the people should
recognize this oracle as a source of "truth" and glad tidings. Its
additional role was to establish righteousness, wisdom and good
character for the members of the community who might use this oracle
to communicate with the gods.
Throughout this inscription the Putaki oracle is called the
For example, in column 1, it was written
"Proclaim the establishment of
character. The strong father (Putaki) to send forth the
And, in column 4, we discover that [Putaki
is] the father of wisdom (and) benefit (for all). This suggest that
Putaki was recognized as the great ancestor of other oracles in the
This suggest that offspring of this oracle was probably situated in
other parts of Peru-Bolivia, where the people went to divine the
future, communicate with the gods or ancestors, or simply obtain
blessing and glad tidings from the oracle.
Some time ago Bernardo Biados sent me photos of a monument he
found at Pokotia.
The site of Pokotia is around 10 km south of
Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku). These
inscriptions are very interesting because they support the
Fuente Magna evidence that the
Sumerians formerly lived in South America.
The inscriptions at Pokotia were
discovered by Bernardo Biados et-al.
This monolith proves that the ancient
South Americans had syllabic writing.
Zecharia Sitchin, in
The Lost Realms (large
file - 1990)
provides a great discussion of the evidence of writing in ancient
Peru and Bolivia (pp. 148-152).
He observed that Alexander von
Humboldt, in Vues des cordillieres et monuments des peuples
indigenes de Amerique (1824) wrote that,
"It has been recently out in doubt
that the Peruvians had besides Quippus, knowledge of a sign
It is interesting to note that Sitchin
published a picture of skin parchment he claims was formerly in the
Peruvian museum at La Paz Bolivia, that have many of the signs found
the Fuente Magna bowl and the
Proto-Sumerian script (below image from p.150).
According to Sitchin, it was published
by Ribero and von Tschudi, in Reisen durch Sudamerika.
this parchment still exist in the museum it will provide even
further support for the presence of Sumerian writing in South
The area where the Pokotia monument was found is a center of
archaeological activity. In this area archaeologist have found
numerous sites where pyramidal figures resembling ziggurats. These
figures are expertly discussed by M. E. Moseley,
The Incas and their ancestors
These ancient sites include Pukara at
the northern end of Lake Titicaca, and Chiripa and Wankarani in
The ancient centers of this area are usually made in a u-shape. This
style of architecture was popular in the Huaura and Lurin Valleys.
This u-shape tradition at Paraiso date back to 1900 BC (Moseley,
p.138). Between 1200-800 BC, copper smelting existed at Wankarani
and Chiripa. The Pukara site dates back to 400 BC.
The Pokotia inscriptions show affinity to the inscriptions found on
the Fuente Magna bowl.
Below we list the signs found on the statue
The Pokotia inscriptions are written in
the Sumerian language. The signs are related to the Proto-Sumerian
writing. The phonetic values for the signs are the phonetic values
of similar signs found in the Vai writing.
The sounds for the Vai writing
were also used to interpret
the Olmec writing and Indus Valley
The Pokotia signs are found on the front
of the statue below the hands. The Pokotia signs are found on the
right and left thighs of the figure. The symbols on the Pokotia
statue are read from top to bottom, right to left. The signs have
Below are the inscriptions from the left side of the Pokotia stela.
These inscriptions are read from top to
bottom, and right to left.
Transcription Bi Me be lu A Bi
Ka I Lu ge me I Su U(yu) Ka mi Mi I Me I Bi I Mi ka A I lu
ki su I ta
Translation: "Distribute/ the
opening of the Oracle to mankind./ Proclaim [that Putaki's]
offspring (are to) witness esteem./Act justly (now), to send
forth the oracle to nourish knowledge./ Appreciate the cult.
[All to] witness the divine decree./ Send forth the
soothsayer to capture the speech [from the oracle] to make
clear the ideal norm [for living, as a guide for mankind].
[Citizens] witness in favor of this human being to create
wisdom (for all mankind), and send forth [an example of
good] character [Indeed]!"
There is an additional inscription on
the left side of the statue.
This inscription is listed below:
Transliteration: Mash ge pa po
mi lu su ta
Translation "The Diviner
proclaims the phenomenal depth of this area, of the deity's
power, to entrust man with wisdom".
On the far right side of the Pokotia
statue there are inscriptions which appear to be engraved in a box
that provide the name of the oracle.
Below is the inscription.
Transliteration: Fo/Pu ta ki Na
Lu su Lu ki
Translation: "Good Putaki, a
wise man and progenitor of (many) people."
There is an additional inscription on
the right side of the statue.
This inscription is presented below:
Bernardo's discovery of the Pokotia monument supports the research
of the Verrills that the Sumerians came to South America in search
A.H Verrill and R. Verrill,
Americas ancient civilizations (1953), and J. Bailey
Sailing to Paradise, (1994)
maintain that the area around Lake Titicaca may have been called
Lake Manu, by the Sumerians.
According to the Verrills and Bailey the
Sumerians came to this area in search of tin. They support this view
by a discussion of the Sumerian traditions, that Sumerians set sail
to the land west of the Mediterranean that they called the "Tin land
of the West" or "Sunset Land". It is interesting to note that a
major center in this area is Potosi.
Bailey suggest that Potosi may relate to
the Sumerian term Patesi the Sumerian term for 'priest king'.
The writing on the Pokotia monument makes it clear that the Pokotia
oracle was a heard by many people in ancient Bolivia. This is
interesting because the Pachacamac oracle was very popular in this
area in historic times. According to Moseley , satellite shrines of
one or another of his offspring were worshipped by South Americans
During Inca (Sumerian: En-ka - (En-Ki?) "Great Lord") times, the temple city of Pachacamac , contained the idol of Pachacamac which was a commanding
oracle drawing devotees from Ecuador in the North through Bolivia in
People came from far and wide for a
Pachacamac prophesy (Moseley, p.68). The Pokotia statue makes it
clear that the popularity of oracles in this part of South America
existed all the way back in time to the creation of the Putaki
There is other support of the early presence of writing in South
America dating back to ancient times.
Moseley published a number of inscribed
Moche bricks and a
Tiwanaku portrait head. The
characters on the bricks and statue are identical to the Pokotia
writing. The symbols on the inscribed Moche bricks are identical to
the na, I, a, mash/bi, mi, ma, po, ki, ta and su signs
listed on the Pokotia sign list above.
The symbols on the Tiwanaku head are
identical to the me and mash/bi signs found on the Pokotia statue.
In addition to evidence from South American popular culture (oracle
worship) and archaeology there is linguistic evidence that support
the Sumerian presence in Bolivia. Mario Montano has found startling
linguistic evidence that indicates a Sumerian substratum in the
Aymara and Quechua languages.
These languages are spoken in
As you can see from the above table many
Aymara terms relate to the metaphysical world.
This is not
surprising given this decipherment of the Pokotia statue and
the Magna Fuente bowl which
indicated that the Sumerians had established many aspects of their
religion in Bolivia.
There are other Sumerian terms which relate to Aymara.
These signs are listed below:
Urta (full moon)
U, mu, bar
It is clear from the above there is
regular phonemic correspondence between many of the the Sumerian and
Aymara terms for example: t
The linguistic evidence supports the view that many of these
Sumerians were miners. The Sumerian term for copper was
urudu, this term agrees with the Aymara terms for gold 'ouri'
and copper 'anta, yawri'. The similarity between urudu and,
yawri and ouri suggest that the Sumerians may have
been the first people in the area to exploit the metals found
throughout the Titicaca area and Bolivia.
The presence of Sumerian terms in the Aymara language, and Sumerian
writing on the Fuente Magna bowl and Pokotia statue make it
that Sumerian civilization was formerly widespread in South America.
This leads me to believe that Bolivia and Peru, may represent the
"Tin Land of the West" mentioned in the Sumerian inscriptions. If this is true ancient Bolivia-Peru may
have been called the mountains of Sunset or the "Sunset Land", by
the ancient Sumerians.
In summary, the Pokotia statue is an oracle.
The name of this oracle was Putaki. It
would appear that formerly the area where the Pokotia monolithic was
found was recognized as a major religious center where citizens came
to hear the oracle recited by soothsayers or
area along with other areas further north was probably the Sunset
It is interesting to note that the name for the oracle Putaki is
very close to the name of the site (Pokotia) where the artifact was
found. This suggest continuity between the name of the oracle and
the contemporary place name.
It is interesting to note that the Pokotia statue and Tiahuanaco
monuments share similar headdresses and rib impressions along the
chest area of several monuments.
I can not provide a date to the figure. But the fact that it was
written in Sumerian, like the Fuente Magna bowl suggest that the
Sumerian language continued to be spoken in this area for an
extended period of time.
This suggest that we may find some
Sumerian linguistic relations with the languages presently spoken in
Here we see a comparison of the Pokotia
and Tiahuanaco monolithic figures (above image).
The figures appear to be either
in a setting pose or standing. In both cases the hands are placed on
the side of the figures. The hands on the seated figure are placed
on the knees.
These statues appear to have the same headdress and similar
scarification across the chest or rib cage area. The general
situation of similar "scarification" across the chest and headdress
suggest that these artifacts may date back to the same period.