Kalasasaya of the Second
Period of Tihuanacu, it is necessary to pay particular attention to a
construction of great importance, not only from the astronomic but also from the
monumental point of view. This is the megalithic perron. In the preceding
chapter we pointed out the importance of the center of the perron AS THE
INTERMEDIATE DIVISION OF THE YEAR OF TIHUANACU.
Now we shall concern ourselves
with the details of this magnificent architectural work.
The perron (Fig. 23) is located as the principal access to Kalasasaya through
the east wall, but it is not in the exact center of that construction. Rather,
it is located one meter, one hundred and sixteen millimeters to the north, for
the reasons set forth in the foregoing chapter.
Bordering it on both sides are
two large pilasters, which lend this architectonic work an even more monumental
aspect. In contrast to the stair, which is of red sandstone, the pilasters are
worked in hard andesitic lava. Comparing their erosion with that of the works of
the Third Period found in the same location, it can be seen that a great space
of time must have transpired between one period and another. We shall consider
this very important point later on, in the study concerned with the age of
The stair steps, which in the main are composed of monolithic blocks, are seven
in number; the last two on top form the platform and are made of a single piece.
On the top of the platform there is a superstructure as revealed by the
"design made by erosion" in those places where the superstructure does
not extend, (Fig. 24). Since this place --- shaded in the illustration --- shows
absolutely no erosion from the atmosphere, or let us say from time, it could be
presumed that during the period of the Conquest it carried a part of this
construction on the platform of the stair, and that the blocks which composed it
were used by the perverse destroyer of that epoch in which the church of the
village of Tihuanacu was built.
At the present time we see in relief the material which formed the base of the
superstructure, or of the platform. However, as can be still observed clearly in
the base and pedestals of Puma-Punku, "depressions" must have been
produced in the block of the base where it fitted, or more exactly, the
superstructure was implanted, and only as the result of the erosion of thousands
of years did depressions deeper than the original higher parts finally remain on
the platform of the stair.
The upper construction on the platform was of the strangest type and completely
contrary to our present architecnographic ideas, which would have demanded an
ample entrance to the temple. Consequently, it was not, judging from the
amplitude and magnificence of the perron, designed for the entrance of
magnificent processions or enormous masses of people during the ceremonies and
liturgic celebrations connected with the worship of the sun. Rather, the
entrance was narrow (approximately 1 meter 45 centimeters wide) and possibly
built for very exclusive use. The priests certainly walked through it during the
most solemn moments of the celebration of important proceedings connected with
the mysteries of the Sun Temple.
This super construction belongs to the Third Period and was an integral part of
the "sanctissimum" with which it communicated directly, since the
alignment or interior edge of the platform is in line with the external east
wall of the "sanctissimum", on the extreme north end of which is still
found the pillar of the winter solstice of the Third Period, (Fig. 25). In
short, although more than ninety percent of Kalasasaya is destroyed, and there
have come down to us only the remains of the building's skeleton, little by
little, and especially when serious reconstructive excavations are carried out,
greater light will be shed on the tangled secret which, until a little while
ago, still covered this famous "Temple of the Sun."
The general map (Pl. III) and other detailed maps inserted in the present work,
show clearly the arrangement and outline of the perron and the astronomical
marks which we have left on the platform for future investigations and