The probable age of Tihuanacu


Figure 28

The probable age of Tihuanacu. This is curve of the variation of the obliquity of the ecliptic according to the knowledge of present-day astronomy.

It is reckoned from 1930 A.D. to the year 15,450 B.C. The calculation was made, on the basis of the formula of the International Ephemeris Conference of Paris, with the respective factor corresponding to the year 1930. The equation is the following: 

eps (t) = 23° 27' 8.26" - 468.44" t - 0.60" t+ 1.83" t3    (1*)

In order to calculate the approximate age of Tihuanacu there was taken as the FUNDAMENTAL POINT OF DEPARTURE the probable obliquity of the ecliptic marked by the priest-astronomers on the gigantic Temple of the Sun of Tihuanacu, that mother of the prehistoric American cultures. Those ancient architects, leaders of a herd-like people, obtained this angle in the manner set forth in this volume. That is to say, by measuring and marking the angle of "solar amplitude" as the principal basis for the construction of that building which indeed constitutes a "stone calendar".
Today anyone possessing the rudiments of astronomy or geodesy can verify those data in this temple. Thus, this angle which is still mensurable at the present time in the aforementioned building of Tihuanacu
(2*) is established with all certainty, since today the sun rises at the solstices with the slight difference of 36' on the outer corners of the east wall of the Sun Temple. That is to say, when the observer is located at the center of the west wall. This angle is 49° 22.7'. (3*)  Naturally refraction (4*) has been taken into consideration, as well as the geographic location of Tihuanacu and the height above sea-level which are as follows:
Latitude south: 16° 34.4' ;  Longitude: 4 hours 35.3' west of Greenwich ;  Height above sea-level: 3,845 m. 
Thus the angle which we have established probably corresponded to that of the obliquity of the ecliptic at the time of the construction of the Solar Temple of Tihuanacu of the Second Period, a building erected as a result of "pressing calendarian needs" in that period of the social, political and religious center of the Americas. The determining of the cardinal dates of the year was absolutely necessary at that time in order to obtain the most satisfactory agricultural results. This was the case since that population, owing to its density in the zones between the mountain ranges where it lived, had an urgent need to cultivate all tillable land intensively to avoid famine. The immediate consequence of a lack of sufficient food would have been social revolutions. These, naturally, would have been extremely dangerous in the governing of an enormous "herd-like population" led by a minority, or rather by that "caste of leaders", the Khollas.
This temple of the Second Period served as a true calendar and it is built on the astronomical meridian. Today it shows the only slight variation from the meridian of 1 ° 6' 30".
(5*)  This enormous solar observatory shows in its ground plan that it has approximate size of a block of houses in the city of New York, or it is 128 m. 66 cm. long by 118m. 36 cm. wide. Within it there are set the remains of another Solar Temple, but of the Third Period, of much smaller dimensions (6*) and whose "calendar wall" is located outside the temple of the Second Period, forming a sort of BALCONY. This, let us say modern solar observatory belongs without any doubt to the Third Period and its "calendarian wall", which is located to the west of both temples, is orientated even better, since its variation with relation to the meridian is only 0.7° to the east.
The probable age of Tihuanacu of the Second Period, calculated on the basis of the variation of the obliquity of the ecliptic, would be approximately 15,000 B.C. Naturally, this calculation is in no sense definitive. For example, the factor [t3] of the formula of the International Ephemeris Conference of Paris may well vary in the light of future astronomical knowledge. If the curve of the obliquity of the ecliptic should, for reasons as yet unknown to us, be more inclined, the calculated age of Tihuanacu would also be somewhat less. But it is an established fact that whatever calculation might be used to determine the age of the Temple of the Sun of Tihuanacu, on the basis of the variation of the obliquity of the ecliptic from those times until today, would demonstrate that that American solar observatory is more ancient than any monument of man in the world of which we know up to this time.



(1*) Connaissance de temps.

(2*) Popular speech today designates it as "KALASASAYA."

(3*) An average of the observations of the author and those of the professional astronomers, Arnold Kohlschütter, Frederick Becker and Rolf Müller. Dr. Hanns Ludendorff, Director of the Observatory of Potsdam, was also making observations in Tihuanacu in 1926.

(4*) For observation toward the pillar SE, whose horizon is 0° 16', the refraction is 0° 21.8'; toward the pillar NE, whose horizon is 2° 47', it is 0° 10.2'.

(5*) A completely destroyed temple to the east of the one we are considering and which without any doubt belongs to the First Period, shows a deviation from the meridian of 2° 50'.

(6*) Cf. the General Map of the Temple of the Sun Kalasasaya (PI. III).

(7*) Consult: Posnansky, Guía general de Tihuanacu e Islas del Sol y la Luna, La Paz, (8*) Bolivia, 1912; id., "El gran Templo del Sol en los Andes. La edad tie Tihuanacu. Astronomía prchistórica", Boletín dc In Sociedad Geográfica de La Paz, 1918, No. 45, pp. 36—46; id., "Kulturvorgeschichtliches und die astronomische Bedeutung des gr. Sonnentempels von Tihuanacu", Das Weltall, Jg. 24, Heft 2, Berlin, 1924; id., "Comentarios a la Esfinge Indiana", Anales del XXI Congreso de Americanistas, The Hague, 1924 (this work first appeared with numerous illustrations in La Natión of Buenos Aires and afterwards in La Paz in a separate brochure published by the Institute Tihuanacu de Antropología, etc., 1925); id., "Nuevos datos cronológicos ref. a Tihuanacu", Proceedings of the XXlll International Congress of Americanists, Sept., 1928. New York, 1931; Rolf Müller, "El concepto astronómico del gran templo solar de Tihuanacu", Andes de la Sociedad Científica de Bolivia, Vol. I, No. i, 1930; id., "Der Sonnentempel von Tihuanacu. Versuch einer astronomischen Altersbestimmung", Baesler Archiv, Potsdam, 1931.

(8*) Before making a trip to Europe in 1911 which lasted two years and which was made for the purpose of editing the first volume of the present work, the manuscript of the Guía de Tihuanacu was left in La Paz for editing. As the author was not able to correct the proofs personally, a number of grave printing errors slipped in, one of which was rectified in "Comentarios a la Esfinge Indiana".