The Precursors of the Inca

The Precursors of the Inca

2004, History  -   22 Comments
Ratings: 7.81/10 from 75 users.

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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2 years ago

I don't recall hearing anything previously about the civilizational predecessors to the Incas, so this was somewhat interesting, although understandably kind of sparse on detail. Notable though were the references to things like human sacrifice and strict hierarchy. One would think there are enough examples already to debunk the myth that precolumbian societies in the Americas were peaceful and egalitarian before the Europeans arrived, but if more are needed, here are apparently a couple more examples to the contrary. I was also fascinated by the appearance of those reed boats still used in northern Peru, and the fishermens' skill in "surfing" with them.

4 years ago

Thank you.

marshall lock
6 years ago

How on this earth,this doc' inspired so much outpouring of verbal garbage as most of these comment ors I fail to see.They do no more than illuminate their collective pomposity .Wonderful informative beautifully filmed doc' though ..thank you very much

9 years ago

The closed captions are a joke..almost ruins the film. It seems the entity that provided the CC and the proof readers did not speak English. For people with good hearing, this is not a issue, but for us that are hearing challenged it is a real bummer. The doc is amazing though.

9 years ago

I pulled this comment because you answered my question.

9 years ago

You ever wonder about all these ancient religions; They no longer exist so this must mean they were worshiping false "god's"?

Religion must exist without script? Religion must be experienced not learned in textbook fashion? Third Party Religious Brokers are simply DESPICABLE as Daffy Duck would say. "God", how i despise those clowns in costumes!

Daffy Duck the pope and billy graham are all creations of the same "god"; no matter what you choose to believe!; by the very fact of all the thousands of defunct "gods" that have come and gone.