The site of Tiwanaku (also called Tiahuanacu) lies just a few hours by bus from La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. The site was founded about 200 BCE, as a small village, and it grew to urban proportions between 300 CE and 500 CE, becoming an important regional power in the Southern Andes, but collapsed suddenly around 950 CE.
Tiwanaku is characterized by large stones, weighing up to 100 tons, and cutting, squaring, dressing, and notching exceeding even the Inca in artisanship. At its maximum extent, the city covered approximately 6 square kilometers, and had as many as 40,000 inhabitants.
The unique pottery style of Tiwanaku is found in vast areas covering modern Bolivia, Peru and Northern Chile and Argentina. It is difficult to tell, however, whether these areas where part of an empire in the political sense or simply under cultural and commercial influence. Tiwanaku collapsed around 1100 CE. The city was abandoned, and its characteristic art style vanished.
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Other Must See Bolivia Travel Places
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Story: River Boat Trip in Bolivia
© All photographs by Mark Van Overmeire