The Precursors of the Inca
From the ruins of the former settlements of the Inca and Tiahuanaco cultures on Lake Titicaca, the priests worship the Sun God. At dawn, to bring good luck, they burn amulets and llama fetuses, and the smoke rises, carrying the invocation to Viracocha, who created the world from his Island of the Sun. This enigmatic god ordered men to go forth and multiply. He then disappeared into the west, and was never seen again.
According to the eminent archaeologist, Federico Kauffmann Doig, the figure worshipped at the gate of the Sun in Tiahuanaco represents Viracocha, the creator of the Andean world, which is surrounded by mythical beings with condor-like heads. The colossal monoliths in Tiahuanaco seemed to want to speak to us of the secrets which this mysterious culture of Titicaca still hides. Some writers have even described them as gods from other planets, and have come up with elaborate theories. What is certainly true, however, is that these stone sculptures continue to astound even the most distinguished archaeologists and specialists.
The Tiahuanaco culture appeared around the Fourth Century A.D. on the Bolivian plateau just a few kilometers from the shores of Lake Titicaca. From there, it spread south where it merged with the Wari, heirs to a different tradition, the Paracas-Nazca culture. Titicaca is the largest lake in South America. It lies at 3820 meters above sea level, covers 9000 square kilometers, is about 230 kilometers long by almost 100 wide, and has a maximum depth of 457 meters.
The Tiahuanaco culture went through a number of different phases: The early phase, the Classical Age and the post-Tiahuanaco culture. It was a society profoundly marked by its religious beliefs. The inhabitants of the Island of the Sun to this day retain reminders of this religion in the liturgy of their rituals. Before undertaking any action, they call upon their gods, especially Pachamama, the Earth Goddess.
Tiahuanaco remains can be seen in the shape of piles of stones, looking towards the snow-capped peaks, believed to be the home of the gods. The ancient mystical observatories are still used by the shaman in their ceremonies of invocation and meditation.
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