by Dr. C. A. Winters



This translation of the 3 panels of the cuneiform writing reads as follows:

  • "Approach in the future (one) endowed with great protection the Great Nia".

  • "[The Divine One Nia(sh) to] Establish Purity, Establish Gladness, Establish Character". ("This favorable oracle of the people to establish purity and to establish character [for all who seek it]".)

  • "[Use this talisman (the Fuente bowl)] To sprout [oh] diviner the unique advise [at] the temple".

  • "The righteous shrine, anoint (this) shrine, anoint (this) shrine; The leader takes an oath [to] Establish purity, a favorable oracle (and to) Establish character. [Oh leader of the cult] Open up a unique light [for all], [who] wish for a noble life".

Source: Decipherment of the Cuneiform Writing on the Fuente Magna Bowl



Decipherment of the Front and side inscriptions on the Pokotia Monolith

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 syllabic values.


" 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.

"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:

"Good Putaki, a wise man and progenitor of (many) people."

There is an additional inscription on the right side of the statue.

" Take an oath to witness character and wisdom. Witness the deity's power [ to make for you] a righteous soul".




Decipherment of the Back and side inscriptions on 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-liguture Proto-Sumerian symbols.

The inscription under the hand on the Pokotia figure is very interesting:

" 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 Proto-Sumerian. 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) . (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 character. 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 "father". For example, in column 1, it was written that:

"Proclaim the establishment of character. The strong father (Putaki) to send forth the divination".

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 region.

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.

Decipherment of the Back and side inscriptions on the Pokotia Monolith




Bernardo's discovery of the Pokotia monument supports the research of the Verrills that the Sumerians came to South America in search of metals.


A.H Verrill and R. Verrill, Americas ancient civilizations (New York: Putnam, 1953), and J. Bailey Sailing to Paradise, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 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 (p.68).

During Inca (Sumerian: En-ka - Enki -  "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 the South. 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 oracle.

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 Peru-Bolivia.

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.

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 obvious 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.







Church of Tihuanaco, built with stone fron the monuments of Tihuanaco , front view . Idols of First Period of Tihuanaco, at the sides of the Church door

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 shaman.


The Pokotia area along with other areas further north was probably the Sunset Land.

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 also interesting to note that the Pokotia statue and Tiahuanaco monuments share similar headdresses and rib impressions along the chest area of several monuments.



Both idols differ completely from those of later periods and must be very old , judging not only by their bad state of preservation and discoloration which their rocky material , the typical sandstone of that period, has undergone, but also because they are sculptured in a realistic manner , a circumstance characteristic of the First Period.

- Prof. Ing. Arthur Ponsnansky

Here we see a comparison of the Pokotia (left) and Tiahuanaco monolithic figures. 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.

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 the area.




Additional Comments


First of all the Sumerian language is not Semitic. Cuneiform was not just used to write Semitic languages, it was also used to write Hurrian, Hittite (Indo-European languages), Sumerian and Elamite, languages which were not Semitic.

As a result, I hold the belief that the authors of the Fuente Bowl and Pokotia monument spoke a Sumerian language because of the appearance of both cuneiform and Proto-Sumerian symbols on these figures. Given this visual identification of two writing systems on these artifacts we have to look at Mesopotamian history and see who used both Proto-Sumerian writing and who used cuneiform writing at the same time? The answer is: the Sumerians.

Once I arrived at this hypothesis, I had to test the Sumerian hypothesis. To test this hypothesis I had to attempt to decipher the writing by interpreting the signs using the Sumerian language. Before I could read the text on these monuments I had to explore the origins of the Sumerian speaking people. Following the lead of Rawlinson, I compared the Sumerian language to the Dravidian and Mande languages.


The languages show affinity in grammar and vocabulary. This made it clear that the speakers of this language probably came from the same original homeland.

Using archaeological and historical evidence I soon discovered that the Sumerians, Proto-Mande and Proto-Dravidians probably lived in the highland regions of Africa. I also found that through out the former homeland of the speakers of the language there were a number of symbols used by these people called Libyco-Berber writing.

During the research of these symbols I discovered that Libyco-Berber writing could not be read using the Tuarag, Berbers, and Punic languages. This made it clear that the language of this writing had to be different from the speakers of these languages.

Research indicated that the Mande speaking people formerly lived in the Sahara and ancient Libya, and that they were pushed southward as a result of the Sahara becoming a desert.


Eventually I discovered the evidence that the Vai maintained that their writing was very ancient.


Given the fact that the Vai syllabary had phonetic values suggested that I could use the phonetic values of the Vai writing to read the ancient Libyco-Berber writing. I tested this hypothesis, and learned that whereas the writing could not be read using Taurag and Punic, they could be read in Mande.


This discovery was quite illuminating.


Because it suggested that I could read other writing systems associated with the ancient Proto-Saharans (Dravidian, Sumerian and Mande speakers).


Next I tried to decipher the Indus Valley writing.


I knew from my linguistic work that Dravidian was a substratum in the Indo-European languages spoken in India and that there was still a Dravidian language spoken in Pakistan called Brahui. This suggested that the Indus Valley people may have spoken a Dravidian language. Again, I used the Vai writing.

First I gave the Indus Valley signs, the phonetic values of identical Vai signs.


Then I read the inscriptions using the Tamil language. Voila, I was able to read the writing. Since my decipherment of the script in the 1980's I have published a grammar and dictionary of the signs which was published in three issues of the Journal of Tamil Studies.


Given the success in reading Libyco-Berber and the Indus Valley writing, it was only natural for me to read the Proto-Sumerian and Minoan A writing using Vai symbolism, because as I said earlier, the speakers of Sumerian (and the Eteo-Cretans) originally came from the Sahara.


As a result, when I recognized cuneiform writing on the Fuente Bowl I hypothesized that the other symbols on the bowl might be Proto-Sumerian, my subsequent reading of the inscriptions confirmed the hypothesis.

Today, hundreds of languages can be written using our alphabet. And in ancient times cuneiform was used to write: Hurrian, Hittite, Elamite, Akkadian, Sumerian and etc.


Therefore, it is not surprising that the Sumerians, Minoans, Indus Valley people, Libyco-Berber people and Mande used the same writing.