As is established in the corresponding chapter of the first volume, there are
THREE PRINCIPAL PERIODS in Tihuanacu.
One, extremely primitive and with its own
characteristic features, to which there belongs, as a building exclusively of
that period, the "Palace" or "Temple" marked "C"
on the triangulation map of Tihuanacu inserted in that volume, (Plate 3).
this period there was also begun the "Pukara"
fortress of Akapana
and the Temple of the Moon, today called Puma-Punku.
The three works have the
same orientation, or are 2° 49' 7" from the meridian. We have very little
knowledge of that period because of its great age.
The construction of the Pukara Akapana and the Temple of the Moon,
was continued in the Second and Third Periods of Tihuanacu. We possess ample
material with which to elaborate our knowledge of these two periods and
especially in order to understand, in addition to many other things, the system
and method of their constructions, their science, their cosmological beliefs and
In Kalasasaya there can be noted the instructive evidences of both cultures
which, we repeat, are separated by a long lapse of time. To the Second Period
there belongs, without any doubt, the great quadrilateral, for the erection and
architecture of which they seem to have taken their inspiration from the small
temple of the First Period... AFTER HAVING EXCAVATED IT.
Kalasasaya of the
Second Period is 128 meters 74 centimeters long by 118 meters 26 centimeters
wide. The monumental perron to the east belongs to this period.
We assign to the Third Period, without fear of error, the monumental colonnade
or balcony wall, and another building which is within the great enclosure beyond
the stair which we have designated provisionally "sanctum sanctorum",
as well as the REPAIRS MADE ON THE EAST WALL which itself belongs, without
doubt, to the Second Period.
It should be kept in mind that in this period there
existed, possibly on the same site, a balcony wall, doubtless of red sandstone,
with the object of protecting from the view of strangers the observation post
which was found at the center of the line between the southeast and northeast
pillars. In the course of this chapter unimpeachable proof of what we have just
affirmed in this paragraph will be supplied.
During the First Period sandstone which comes from the mountainous region to the
south of the ruins, was used exclusively; there was also used for certain works
(sculptures of heads to be set in the walls) a soft calcareous tufa.
In the Second Period there was used, although on a small scale, the extremely hard, eruptive-crystalline rocks like the
andesites. Naturally, they used sandstone when it belonged to the preceding
period and was already placed and cut.
They then arranged it, retouched it and
continued the former work according to their own criterion, with their new style
and symbolic decoration. An eloquent example illustrating the improvement of
previous works, is the retouching of the colossal idol which they found
in the temple of the First Period.
This, roughly carved, was given a new form
and was covered with the symbolic inscriptions of the new epoch. Another most
impressive example is to be observed in Puma-Punku, the construction of which
was continued in the Second and Third Periods in a very active form.
The south, west and north walls (let us say the walls of less rank) belonging to
the Second Period of Kalasasaya, are still of red sandstone.
The east wall, or
that of great rank and also of the Second Period was already constructed of
igneous, andesitic rocks. (See an enormous abrasion in
Fig. 13, 13a, 13b).
All that which is still standing of the
Third Period in Kalasasaya is worked
exclusively in hard andesitic lava, as for example, the balcony wall, the
sanctissimum and the reconstructions of the Second Period. But it is not only in
the material that the Third Period differs from the preceding one; it is
especially in the so perfect working of the rock, a thing unsurpassed in the
world up to this time.
It is seen further in the symbolic style of the
engravings which are extraordinarily advanced and especially, in the astronomical
orientation of its construction which shows a variation of 25' 30" between
one period and the other.
The orientation of the south wall of Kalasasaya of the Second Period is 89°
18', of the north 89° 20', of the east 358° 58' 30" and of the west 358°
53' 30". The constructions of the Third Period such as the sanctissimum and
the balcony wall, deviate from the meridian to the west 42', or they were
located at 359° 18'.
Bronze appears in the Third Period. One frequently notes the repairs in the
walls of former periods in which they joined blocks by means of bronze bolts;
these they used in different shapes for their own constructions, even in the
form of rings, (Fig. 14).
In this very period, characterized by a
maximum advance - it constitutes the epopee of Tihuanacu - the "Loka" also
appears, a common, everyday unit of measure which, to judge by the construction
of the balcony wall, had a length of 161 cm. 3.25 mm., equivalent possibly to
the arm span of the average individual of that time. (See our work: "Antropología
The Sun Door is the most glorious monument of this period. An attempt was
made to finish the buildings of the First and Second Periods, as we shall see
farther on, especially the Temple of the Moon, Puma-punku and the
but they were not concluded.
With the exception of the Temple of the First
Period, absolutely nothing is finished in Tihuanacu, not even the supreme piece
of this period, The Sun Door, as we have seen in the preceding chapter.
Tihuanacu of the Third Period is a megalomaniacal work like the Tower of Babel
and, had it been completed, it would possibly have surpassed everything that man
has constructed on the earth.
Among the sciences they came to know, as we shall see farther on, they mastered
the astronomical bearings of the meridian, with which it was possible to
determine the exact "amplitude" of the sun in the Third Period and
with this, in turn, the obliquity of the ecliptic --- a value which has supplied
us with the basis for determining the approximate age of Tihuanacu.
By means of
this knowledge the equinoxes and solstices were established, the aphelion and
the perihelion were known, the solar year divided into twelve months was used.
Even the zodiac became known, as has been seen in the previous chapter which
deals with the Sun Door, but in a form quite different from that known by the
ancient Semitic sages of Chaldea, whose knowledge was passed on to the astronomy
of the present day.